CLEMSON, S.C. — Zach Wright scored in the 87th minute to give No. 3 North Carolina a thrilling 1-0 victory over second-ranked Clemson on Friday night in the Atlantic Coast Conference opening match for both clubs.
UNC keeper James Pyle made a save on a Tiger penalty kick in the first half, helping North Carolina improve to a perfect 4-0 on the season. Clemson drops to 3-1.
The home-standing Tigers had more scoring chances in the first half, but the penalty kick save by Pyle continued to keep Clemson off the scoreboard. A Tiger player was taken down in the box and Iman Mafi elected to take the kick, but Pyle lunged in the correct direction to make the save.
FINAL: #1 UNC 1, #2 Clemson 0— UNC Men's Soccer (@UNCmenssoccer) September 10, 2016
Goal: Zach Wright pic.twitter.com/aTWYukowGY
Carolina reserve Jelanie Pieters fed Tucker Hume with a pass across the 18-yard box in the late stages of the opening half, but the shot was blocked by a Clemson defender to keep the match scoreless through 45 minutes.
Wright was a handful for Clemson, using his speed to break through defenders all night long. He nearly scored in the 82nd minute but Tiger keeper Ximo Miralles was able to kick the ball away.
Moments later, Miralles wasn’t so fortunate when Wright collected a pass from freshman Cam Lindley and slipped a shot into the near corner for the game winner.
Pyle was credited for six saves to notch his third clean sheet in four matches.
North Carolina hosts a pair of matches next week: Tuesday against ETSU at 7 p.m. and Friday against ACC foe Pitt at 7:30 p.m.