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Danny Bloyou’s Golden Goal Gives Penn State Men’s Soccer 1-0 Win Over Northwestern

It wasn’t always pretty, but Penn State men’s soccer (4-1) survived in Evanston against Northwestern (2-4-1) 1-0 on Friday afternoon.

After 90 minutes of scoreless soccer, Danny Bloyou scored the decisive strike to send the Wildcats packing just two minutes into overtime.

How It Happened

Despite being the favorites, Penn State played largely on the back foot in the beginning of the match. Northwestern had the better early chances through corner-kicks, but didn’t register any meaningful shots on goal.

Liam Butts had a good chance 20 minutes in on the breakaway. The sophomore danced on the ball before feeding Pierre Reedy in; the captain scored, but he was offside.

The Nittany Lions appeared content in letting Northwestern control the pace of the game. The Wildcats weren’t very clinical, and Penn State’s best chances came on the counterattack via Butts and Danny Bloyou’s speed.

Kris Skakes was called into meaningful action for there first time a few minutes later. Ugh Achara Jr. cut inside and ripped it to the right side, but it didn’t have enough to best Shakes.

Penn State decided to take over the pace of the game for the last 15 minutes of the half. A series of corner kicks led to a near miss from Brandon Hackenberg. The star defender hit the ball hard, and it sailed just a foot or so above Ethan Bandre’s net.

Both teams headed to the half unsatisfied, although substitute Jose Palomeque nearly had a buzzer beating volley for Penn State. Bandre got a finger on it, keeping the stalemate after 45 minutes.

Penn State continued to build on a promising end to the first half out of the break. Kyle May recorded an early shot on goal, which became the beginning of an onslaught.

Butts had a wide open chance to score his first of the year with 32 minutes to play. The striker was played through in a one-on-one with Bandre. The goalkeeper collided with Butts, but the Nittany Lion recovered the ball and fired it right into the last ditch Northwestern defender. Butts was arguably fouled on the collision, something that most likely would’ve given Bandre either a yellow or red card, but the Wildcats escaped without penalty.

Tim Lenahan’s team responded well, slowing the game down and getting some set piece opportunities on their attacking half. Shakes was called into action again in the 70th minute, parrying away a shot from the corner of the box.

Penn State had all the chances down the stretch, but the final touch wasn’t there, forcing the Nittany Lions’ first overtime period of the season.

Sudden death overtime can be a fickle thing, and the unpredictability only helped Penn State. Jeff Cook’s team couldn’t score for 90 minutes, but it took Bloyou only 1:42 of the extra time period to win it for the Nittany Lions.

Tyger Evans made a solid run down the left flank, and whipped in a ball to the six yard box. Bloyou was there, and thwarted Bandre from point blank range to win it in dramatic fashion for the Nittany Lions.

Man Of The Match

Danny Bloyou| Sophomore |Striker

It was a pretty uninspiring performance for most Penn Staters, but when you score the game-winning goal in sudden death fashion, you deserve man of the match. Bloyou was a bright spot for much of the game, and after 92 long minutes the Ghanaian finally had the clinical touch to put the game away.

What’s Next

Penn State returns home on Tuesday to take on Ohio State. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. and will be streamed on BTN+.

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About the Author

Otis Lyons

Otis is a sophomore majoring in print journalism and is one of Onward State's associate editors. He lives just north of San Francisco, and is a diehard San Jose Earthquakes fan. Feel free to send over your soccer hot takes to his twitter @otisnlyons1 and instagram @otislyons

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