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Late goal lifts USF

Early in the season, it seems as if the South Florida men’s soccer team can still beat teams without playing at its best.

This was displayed Saturday night, as the Bulls (2-0-0) beat Florida Gulf Coast 1-0 in Ft. Myers on a late goal by junior Javed Mohammed.

“We were slow to get going,” said USF coach George Kiefer. “Our guys really played well in the second half, but we are trying to find that right combination of players to play our best soccer for an entire match.”

The Bulls were outshot 10-8 by FGCU, but they were able to keep the game a scoreless tie until Mohammed struck his first goal of the season, this one off a free kick in the 87th minute.

“He scored an amazing goal,” Kiefer said. “There were lots of fouls during the game, and we were fortunate to get a free kick right outside the goal box late in the game. Javed struck it perfectly and curled it around the wall of the net. It was the kind of goal that you would see on TV.”

USF was outshot 5-2 in the first half. However, the Bulls were more aggressive in the second half, registering six shots before the goal. Goalkeeper Jeff Attinella saved all of FGCU’s five shots at his net.

“It was definitely a game we could build on,” Kiefer said. “We battled adversity and really got a great test against (FGCU).”

After watching the Bulls claim wins by only one goal in the first two games, Kiefer said there is room for improvement.

“When things are clicking for us, we’re a great team,” Kiefer said. “With everyone at their best, we are very dangerous. It’s just a matter of sustaining that type of play for a whole match.”

The Bulls will be back on the field tonight, hosting Valparaiso (1-1-0) at 7:30.