Brandt Bronico recorded his first goal of the season in the 49ers 2-1 overtime victory against FIU. Goalkeeper Elliot Panicco registered five saves in the match up with three coming in the first half. The 49ers improve to 2-0 in conference play, 5-1-0 overall while the Panthers are even at 1-1 in conference, 3-4-1 overall.
Marco Sunol-Rojas looked to put the 49ers on the board, taking two shots on goal in the first half. His first shot bounced off of the goal post, back into the field of play and his second shot went just shy of the same post. Brandt Bronico, Harrison Steadman and Daniel Bruce also took their shots in the first half, but to no avail and both the 49ers and the Panthers sat at 0 going to the half.
The Charlotte men were persistent, continuously taking shots on goal. Steadman put the ball in the net for the 49ers with just under 12 minutes left in the game after Ryan Spaudling intercepted the pass from the FIU goalkeeper.
The 49ers held the 1-0 lead until there were two seconds left in regulation. That is when Luis Betancur of FIU headed the ball past Panicco, sending the game into overtime.
With just one minute gone in the sudden-kill overtime period, Callum Montgomery drew a foul in the box. The penalty set up Bronico for a penalty kick. Bronico took advantage of the kick, snagging his first goal of the season. Head coach Kevin Langan knew that Bronico was the man for the job on the PK.
“In the key moments, he is the player you want stepping up there,” Langan said.
After being dealt their first loss of the season against Wilmington in a 2-0 fashion, Langan stressed the importance of resiliency.
“I thought today we were very strong, we were much more organized. You’ve only got one choice and that’s going to be to come back,” Langan said.
Langan also praised the mentality kept by the 49ers after being sent to overtime.
“It was a really good conference game. To lose a goal with two seconds is really tough. I think a lot of lesser teams around the country would have folded then, have that ‘why me’ attitude. We regrouped, re-energized our group and went back on the field,” Langan said.
The 49ers are back in action at Transamerica Field Oct. 8 to take on New Mexico after they embark on a two-game road trip to Winthrop and Kentucky.