FLUSHING, N.Y. – Junior András Breuer curved in the game-tying goal on a free kick late in the second half, as the Queens College men's soccer team went toe-to-toe with the sixth-ranked team in the nation, earning a 1-1 draw against the Pioneers of LIU Post on a breezy Saturday afternoon in East Coast Conference (ECC) action.
In the 72nd minute of play, trailing 1-0, the Knights earned a foul from 20 yards out. Stepping up to take the free kick opportunity was Breuer, who curved the ball into the upper left corner to the knot the game at 1-1 with his fourth goal of the season.
With the draw, the Knights moved to 4-4-2 overall (1-2-2 ECC), while the Pioneers were held to their second draw of the season, moving them to 8-0-2 overall (3-0-1 ECC). Saturday's result ended the Knights' eight-year losing streak to the Pioneers, last earning a point in 2008, when Queens won, 2-1, in overtime.
LIU Post came out firing from the first whistle, as Harry Perase looked to give the Pioneers an early lead in the 3rd minute, but was denied by junior goalie Chidiebere Iloka. Queens looked to counter on the other side in the 7th minute, with sophomore Cristian Villalta's shot being saved by Oliver Hessner Hansen.
The Pioneers looked to control the pace of the first half and were awarded in the 27th minute, when Khalid Al Saud found an unmarked Johann Kristjansson, who tapped the ball into the left corner of the goal for a 1-0 lead. Queens worked hard to defend each ball after conceding a goal, as they trailed, 1-0, heading into halftime.
As September dictated for Frank Vertullo's team, the second half is where the Knights make their mark, and they showed it early on by forcing the Pioneers to commit seven fouls in the first 15 minutes of the second half. In the 71st minute, junior Saufyane Ilboudo looked to have found open space as he headed toward goal, but was taken down by a hard foul from Mike Sutton 20 yards away from goal. The foul set up Breuer for his second free-kick goal of the season, as he curved the ball away past the Pioneers wall and Hansen to the upper left corner to the knot the game, 1-1, with 18 minutes to go in regulation.
After knotting the game, the Knights increased their intensity, as they looked to stun the sixth-ranked team in the nation. Sophomore Emgi Gousse almost found the game-winner in the 76th minute but was blocked. With time winding down, junior Najib Ullah's shot was blocked in the crowded box, as the nail-bitter entered overtime.
In the first overtime, sophomore Pedro Lamarre was unable to put strength into his shot as the ball twinkled towards Hansen's hands. A minute later, Gousse's shot was blocked as the Knights took possession of the game to pressure the Pioneers. In the dying seconds of the second overtime, lady luck was not on the Knights' side despite outshooting LIU Post, 6-2, in overtime.
Throughout the day, the Knights took the Pioneers out of their zone, as they held a 19-9 shot advantage, also holding advantages in shots on goal (9-2) and corner kicks (8-5), while forcing the Pioneers to commit more fouls (29-19). Iloka (1-2-1), along with his defense, kept the LIU Post forwards at bay, holding the Pioneers to a season-low two shots on goal.
UP NEXT: Taking a break from conference play, the Knights return to non-conference action on Tuesday, Oct. 10, as they play host to the Clippers of Concordia College (N.Y.) for their Autism Awareness game with kickoff slated for 3:30 p.m. Last year, the Knights were led by Gousse's two goals, as they defeated the Clippers, 4-1 at home.