LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Aboubakar Tchalombo's 70th minute goal put the No. 6-ranked Bellevue University men's soccer team ahead and the Bruins held on for a 3-2 win over Talladega College on Friday afternoon at the Grizzly Soccer Complex in the semifinal round of the Association of Independent Institutions Tournament.
#6 Bellevue: 17-0-2
Recap: #6 Bellevue 3, Talladega 2
Bellevue was out-shot 12-6 (7-5 on goal) and fell behind in the opening minutes but showed they were up to the task with a 3-2 come-from-behind victory.
Talladega opened the scoring in the ninth with a quality strike from Calixte Valeus. After an attempted BU clearance was collected by Valeus just outside the 18 he curled a ball just inside the upper corner keeper AJ Jarvis had no chance on.
Bellevue answered just 2:28 later in the 12th minute off a corner kick. Toby Millward played the corner into the box that Amador Rangel hit at goal and, after the initial shot hit the crossbar, a Talladega defender put the ball into the Tornadoes own net.
Rangel nearly gave the Bruins the lead with his 20th minute header off another corner kick from Millward.
After the early action, chances were minimal until a long ball out of the back from Jacob Pease found Kortlan Franke one-on-one with the keeper inside the box. His shot, low and away, snuck under the diving Pierre Kamgang for a 2-1 BU lead in the 38th minute. The goal was Franke's second this season.
BU took that 2-1 lead into the halftime break. Talladega held a 6-3 edge in shots (5-2 on goal) and Bellevue won four corners to the Tornadoes' two.
Talladega again scored quickly following the second half kick-off when Renan a Dinis delivered a shot from range that beat Jarvis in the 50th minute from about 25 yards out.
In the 70th minute, BU's Aboubakar Tchalombo put Bellevue back ahead 3-2. Jarvis played a free kick from the BU half of the field that found Tchalombo in the box. Tchalombo, going to ground, steered the ball into the net with his head for his third goal of the year. The assist was the first of Jarvis' career and is believed to be the first game-winning assist ever credited to a Bruin keeper.
The Bruins had a chance to ice the game in the 85th minute when Tchalombo got in behind the defense and deked Kamgang but his shot was met by a sliding Talladega defender.
BU held on defensively from there. The Tornadoes had a corner in the 89th minute but Bellevue sprung a counter attack with Renato Silva taking on a defender before the Bruins secured possession to see out the final moments.
Man of the Match:
Aboubakar Tchalombo – Came on as an impact substitute and scored the game-winning goal.
Coach Mark Heath-Preston:
"It was a very tough game against a good team. The subs made the difference with Kortlan Franke and Aboubakar Tchalombo getting goals off the bench; as well, Marvin Ramirez and Morgan Penn came on and added energy."
With the victory, Bellevue advances to tomorrow's championship match where they will meet the winner of the game between Georgia Gwinnett College and Waldorf University. Kick-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.
The loss by Talladega means the Tornadoes wrap up the season with a 9-6-0 record.
- During their current 11-game win streak, Bellevue has out-scored their opposition 45-7.
- Bellevue is unbeaten in their last 24 matches (21-0-3), a streak which began on Oct. 7, 2017.
- For the fourth-straight week the Bruins are ranked No. 6 in the latest NAIA Coaches' Poll, which was released on Tuesday afternoon.
- The 64 goals scored this season by BU are the second-most in club history (2006-66).
- With their 17th win the Bruins set a new program record for victories in a season. The old mark had been 16, set by the 2005 team.
- The assist by AJ Jarvis on Aboubakar Tchalombo's goal was the first by a BU keeper since Sebastian Narvaez assisted on a goal against Oklahoma Wesleyan on Oct. 23, 2010.