September 4, 2017
Riverside, Calif. -- Benjamin Tembo has scored early, late, and very late during the first two weeks of the 2017 TMU soccer season.
Those goals have given the Mustangs early advantages, put the club ahead to stay, and a sudden victory in overtime.
On Monday evening, his third game-winning goal of the season in the match's 53rd minute was the difference in the Mustangs' 3-2 victory over La Sierra, one that extended the club's winning streak to three matches and a 5-1 record.
Tembo's team-leading seventh tally of the young season came at the 52:28 mark and snapped a two-all tie that had held strong for over 15 minutes.
The Mustang defense took over from there on an evening when the Golden Eagles managed just four shots on goal. TMU keeper Casey Phillips notched two saves and his record now mirrors that of his team.
Much earlier, the Mustangs dented the scoreboard first for the fifth time in six matches. Junior Jonathan Brown beat Eagle goalie Javier Lopez at the 18:44 mark for his first goal of the year. Brown's score came seconds after Lopez notched a save on a Tembo shot.
Less than eight minutes later (26:39), the Eagles knotted the match when Felipe Mendizabal beat Phillips with a header off a pass from Pedro Blaquier. Mendizabal almost unlocked the tie at the 28:41 mark but his attempt to do so went wide.
It stayed one-all until the 37th minute (36:02) when Israel Vasquez booted one past Phillips to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead.
That slightest of advantages lasted all of a minute. A foul in the box by La Sierra gave the Mustangs a penalty kick and Leonardo Anjos capitalized quickly, putting one past Lopez to tie the match again. It was the junior transfer's second penalty kick conversion in as many tries this season and came with 7:52 remaining in the opening half.
Over the first 45 minutes of play, the Eagles outshot the Mustangs 8-6 and both clubs had three shots on goal.
The Mustangs dominated the shot-taking in the second half by an 8-1 margin, however, only two of those were on goal, including the one by Tembo that proved to be the game-winner.
That shot advantage and Tembo's decider were highlighted in Coach Jim Rickard's post-match comments. He said, "I felt we settled in much more in the second half, creating several great looks. Benji (Tembo) scored the game-winner on a great shot and we were able to see the game out."
After playing three matches in the past five days, the Mustangs will be back in action on Wednesday when they return to Reese Field to host No. 9 Marymount in a 4:00pm start.