FARMVILLE, VA — Sami Charaf Amal scored the game’s only goal in the 83rd minute to lift Campbell to a 1-0 Big South Conference men’s soccer win win over host Longwood on Wednesday night.
After the Camels hit the post earlier in the second half and missed another 1-on-1 opportunity in the box, a Lancer turnover in the defensive third finally proved the home team’s undoing.
Matt Lock controlled an errant pass near the top of the area, but his shot was blocked and fell to the feet of Amal, a former Moroccan U-18 national. The freshman calmly slid the ball home from about 18 yards for his second goal of the season.
Campbell (5-2-1, 4-1-1) improved to 16-1-2 in its last 19 contests against Big South competition and earned a win in Farmville for the first time since 2012.
The Camels finished with a 15-5 edge in shots and allowed only one Lancer attempt on target as CU keeper Samuel Lechuga recorded his fourth shutout of the season.
Coming off Sunday’s 8-0 victory over Presbyterian, Campbell entered the match as the nation’s top scoring team at 3.14 goals per game. Longwood, which has only scored seven times in seven outings, was content to keep 10, and sometimes 11, defenders behind the ball.
As a result, the Camels held a dominating lead in time of possession and took 10 corner kicks to only one (which came in the 82nd minute) for the Lancers.
Campbell had three clear opportunities to grab the lead in a 12-minute stretch after an hour had elapsed. Jalen James drove a right-footed blast that beat Longwood keeper Jacob Reimers, but banged off the right post in the 63rd minute.
Six minutes later, Tyler Young nearly finished a Camel counter, but his right-footed effort slid just wide of Reimer’s left post. In the 75th minute, Young broke free in the area, but Reimer charged off his line to stop the Camel freshman’s attempt.
Just before Amal’s goal, the Lancers set up for a free kick just 20 yards from Amal’s goal, but Dylan Matheny shot into the wall and Matt Ward’s effort on the rebound was also cleared away.
Longwood’s best chances came in the final five minutes after the Lancers had conceded the goal.
The Lancers had a free kick to the left of the Camel area in the 85th minute, but Ander Etxaniz’ diving header stayed well wide of Lechuga’s left post. One minute later Leif VanSlyke had a clear shot at the top of the area, but struck the ball right into Lechuga’s grasp for what proved to be Longwood’s only shot on goal all night.
Twice in the opening half, the Camels tested Reimers, but CU was unable to score. In the 25th minute, Moses Mensah released a liner from about 25 yards that Reimers left his feet to deflect the ball over his cross bar. After 41 minutes, Lock drove a right-footed shot on goal that Reimers held.
Campbell outshot the Lancers, 5-1, in the opening half and took seven corner kicks to none for the hosts.
The Camels are home Sunday for a 6 p.m. match with Elon.
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report)