(CHARLOTTETOWN, PE) Keji Adeniyi (London, UK) silenced the Charlottetown crowd with a goal in extra time that gave the UNB REDS a 1-0 win over the UPEI Panthers on Sunday afternoon.
With time winding down, Adeniyi chased the ball to the 18-yard-box, where he sidestepped a sliding UPEI keeper and skipped a shot to the back of the net.
"The whole game it was difficult to find space in their defence," said Adeniyi, named Subway Player of the Game. "I saw Ollie (Menard) on the ball, I saw a gap in the defence, and I just knew I had to make that run in the last minute to get the goal."
For the REDS, now 3-1-1, it turned a game that was destined to end in a nil-nil draw into one where they took three points and distanced themselves from teams in the bottom half of the Atlantic University Sport standings, including the Panthers, now 0-4-1.
"It's a huge win for us," Adeniyi said. "Historically, coming to UPEI, it's just a difficult place to play for UNB. It was important for us to bounce back after yesterday's loss."
Prior to the winning goal, the REDS' best chance came in the 57th minute when Francois Maurice (North Vancouver, BC) curled a pass to Ryan Jetten (Kanata, ON) near the edge of the six-yard box where he volleyed it off the hands of goalkeeper Evan Couturier (Lower Coverdale, NB).
In the 72nd minute, UPEI's Kasper Lasia (Ottawa, ON) took a free kick and delivered a strong pass to Nathan Chow (Campbell River, BC), whose header attempt was snuffed out by REDS' keeper Louis-Charles Vaillancourt (Sherbrooke, QC) with the diving save.
That set the stage for Adeniyi, whose late-game heroics was the difference in the game.
"Our group rebounded well after a difficult loss to Saint Mary's, on Saturday," said REDS head coach Barry Morrison. "We had a much more connected performance, played with confidence that we had the ability to win the game. UPEI were relentless in their defending, and it took a last-minute effort from Keji to find the difference maker."
The Panthers resume their search for their first win of the season Thursday night when they travel to Wolfville to take on the Acadia Axemen, while the REDS return home to face the Mount Allison Mounties. Both games are scheduled to begin at 7:15pm.
"We now get back to business with a quick turn-around to play on Thursday," said Morrison.
RECAP BY: Thomas Becker/UPEI Athletics
PHOTOS BY: Janessa Hogan/for UPEI Athletics