Panthers score early, often to dismantle nationally ranked UCF

By Official Florida FC

FIU 4, No. 13 UCF 0

Florida International issued a statement of intent on Thursday night with an upset win in Orlando.

Rasmus Tobinski opened the fun in the fourth minute. A half hour later Santos Monteiro added a second. David Garcia and Stephen Afrifa scored second half goals to help the Panthers (1-0) roar out the gates.

Thursday’s performance is all the more impressive considering FIU was shut out three times during the Spring 2021 season and did not return its top two returning scorers.

“For us to come out and put a 4-0 result on them, it was earned,” said FIU head coach Kyle Russell said afterward “Nothing was given. Credit to the whole team. This is a tough place to come up and play. Anyone who has played UCF knows they are a good team. I’m very proud of our guys tonight and I’m excited for our next game as we gear up for (Florida Gulf Coast University).”

FIU will travel to Fort Myers to play a Florida Gulf Coast squad raring to go. The Eagles’ season opener against the University of Fort Lauderdale that was slated to kick off on Friday night was canceled because of Covid-19 protocols.

USF 4, Jacksonville 1

Henrique Gallina had a night to remember on Thursday. The USF junior wingback scored two goals and assisted a third to help the Bulls march to a convincing win over the reigning ASUN champions.

USF took a three-goal lead into intermission following Shion Soga’s 17th minute goal. Gallina scored his opening goal of the season in the 39th, then assisted freshman forward Oscar Resano’s first of the season in the 43rd to put the game out of reach.

JU forward Reed Davis scored a consolation in the 56th minute. However, Galina’s goal in the 61st effectively ended the contest.

North Florida 3, Georgia State 1

The Ospreys didn’t take long to find their wings in Thursday night’s season opener. Jovoney Brown scored in the third minute to set the tone in Atlanta.

Joaquin Acuna and Mirza Nevoric also scored to help UNF (1-0) record its first win over Georgia State (0-1) in 14 years. Jordan Beam’s 70th minute goal was the only shot Georgia State put on goal all evening long.

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