RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Just over 63 minutes had expired before Silas Machado took to the pitch for the University of Rio Grande in Wednesday night’s season opener against Mount Vernon Nazarene University.
Needless to say, the Sao Paulo, Brazil senior certainly made the most of his late-game opportunity.
Machado assisted on a game-tying goal before scoring the go-ahead marker with 2:20 left to play, lifting the RedStorm to a 2-1 win over the visiting Cougars in non-conference men’s soccer action at Evan E. Davis Field.
Machado sliced down the middle of the 18-yard box and headed a long centering pass from sophomore Sebastian Borquez (Santiago, Chile) past MVNU keeper Josh Dunn, capping a wild final seven minutes of action.
The contest was a scoreless draw before the Cougars grabbed a 1-0 lead when Gerardo Molina found the back of the net off a touch from teammate Keon Boney in front of the goal with just 6:55 left in the contest.
Rio Grande responded with the equalizer just under two minutes later when junior Charlie Chechlacz (Liecestershire, England) scored off a pass from Machado, setting up the dramatic tie breaking score a little more than 2-1/2 minutes later.
Rio Grande, which enjoyed a one-man advantage after MVNU’s Joshua Sitney was issued a red card for violent behavior just 15:25 into the match, outshot the Cougars 24-9 overall and 13-5 in shots on frame.
Rio also had an 11-2 edge in corner kick opportunities.
Junior net-minder Josh Wilson (Cairns, Australia) stopped four shots in his debut for the RedStorm.
Dunn had 11 saves in a losing cause for Mount Vernon Nazarene, which handed Rio one of its four losses last season.
Rio Grande returns to action on Saturday when it travels to Indiana Wesleyan University. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.