Down a man, offense sputters against LIU

Redshirt-junior forward Biska Biyombo returned this season after only playing in five games last season due to injury. Photo by Jon Mirador

Andy Riddler, Contributing Writer

Men’s soccer fell to LIU 1-0 Monday night, the Rams’ second match in three days, in a sluggish affair with few offensive chances. 

VCU controlled the possession for most of the first 30 minutes, and it led to a golden opportunity on a breakaway for redshirt-junior forward Biska Biyombo. 

Biyombo collided with the goalkeeper, who came out to challenge him. The referee gave the Democratic Republic of Congo native a red card, and he was ejected from the match, a call coach Dave Giffard wasn’t happy with in the moment.

The Rams only had three shots on goal, two of them in the final minutes. Giffard said the offensive deficiencies can partially be attributed to a lack of practice time early in the season.

“Although we created a lot of pressure in and around the goal, some of the details of how to manufacture chances when you’re chasing it or down a man, or in this case both, we haven’t done anything with,” Giffard said. 

Junior midfielder Oquin Robinson logged a team-high five shots in the loss to LIU. Photo by Alessandro Latour

The teams went into halftime scoreless, with VCU’s only shot on net coming from redshirt-senior midfielder Myles Brown in the 44th minute.

The tie did not last long into the second half; LIU was awarded a corner kick in the 57th minute. The corner bounced around in the box until it found LIU forward Chris Capaldo and he kicked it off a VCU player and into the back of the net.

The miscues on offense also were attributed to the absence of key players, such as freshman midfielder Celio Pompeu, and having players not in their normal position all night.

“With all the guys that we are down, we’re playing guys so far out of position, and they are doing their best. Two of the premier attacking midfielders in the country are both out. … In three weeks, we’ve scored five,” Giffard said.

VCU controlled possession and piled on with nine more shot attempts in the final 30 minutes, but only two were on target. Junior goalkeeper Mario Sequeira made three saves to keep the Rams in the match.

The Rams will host Saint Francis (Pa.) Friday at 7 p.m.

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