Kentucky Junior JJ Williams chipped the goalkeeper six minutes into overtime to score his third game-winner of the year and give the No. 7 Wildcats a 3-2 win at Lipscomb on Tuesday.
Kentucky remained undefeated through six games, improving it’s won-lost-drawn record to 5-0-1 (1-0-0 Conference USA).
Kalil ElMedkhar opened the scoring just 69 seconds into the game, and then Aimé Mabika doubled Kentucky’s advantage in the 53rd minute.
The hosts responded immediately, converting a penalty one minute after going down by two and then equalizing in the 75th through Logan Paynter.
Kentucky would take its chance with four minutes to go in the first golden-goal overtime period as Marcel Meinzer played Williams in behind the Lipscomb defense along the left. The UK co-captain looked up to see a Lipscomb goalkeeper way off his line. He lofted the ball with his left foot over the keeper’s head and across the goal line to conclude proceedings.
“We just pieced together things perfectly,” Williams said. “The back line played it into Marcel, he faced up in the half space that we talk about all the time. He did a great job with counteractive movement pulling the defender inside. He slipped me through, and then that’s what we practice all week. The team put me in a good position to score again.”
Williams has a career-high, team-best five goals this season and a team-best 12 goals for his career.
Kalil ElMedkhar opened the scoring with a set-piece finish 69 seconds into the game. He curled one into the box from 35 yards out and frankly, no one on the pitch intervened before the ball struck twine.
Williams drew a penalty in the 53rd when he was brought down in the box on a breakaway. With Williams having to go off the pitch to receive treatment on an apparent knock, Mabika stepped up to the spot and finished. It was the second goal of the season. Both came on penalty kicks. He has five career goals and is four of four for his career on penalty attempts.
“Excited to get the win,” Kentucky Head Coach Johan Cedergren said. “A lot of credit to Lipscomb and their coaching staff. They had a tough result over the weekend and I thought he got them ready. They gave us everything they had … We tried to prepare our guys prepared that they were going to be fired up.
“We scored an early goal and all of the sudden it was like ‘this is going to be easy, we don’t have to do all the little things.’ So really happy we were able to score three goals. Really happy we were able to come away with a win, but I think we have higher expectations than how we played today. We ran and we battled, but when there was a good decision to make on the ball – a smart decision to make on the ball – we just weren’t switched on enough to do that.”
Kentucky had its run of consecutive minutes without conceding a goal to start the season end at 603.
Lipscomb has now lost five matches in a row and is 1-5-0.
Kentucky evened the all-time series to 1-1-1. Lipscomb won 3-2 at The Bell last October and they drew 1-1 in 2016.
UK is 1-0 in matches played in Nashville.
The next one
Kentucky will play its first conference home match on Friday at 7:30 p.m. against a Charlotte side that drew 2-2 against No. 6 Louisville on Tuesday.
For the latest on the Kentucky men’s soccer team, follow @UKMensSoccer on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com.
‑ GO CATS –
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