Jon Ingason and Daniel Pereira scored off two free kicks within three minutes of each other in the first half on Wednesday to lift No. 22 Virginia Tech to a 2-0 victory over Louisville in the ACC Tournament.
The 11th seeded Hokies capitalized on their set pieces in the first half, something the team found success with throughout the regular season.
Leading up to the first free kick goal, Pereira dribbled the ball to the edge of the penalty area with three minutes to play in the first half. The freshman midfielder from Roanoke was tripped up, setting up Ingason just a tad bit off the center of the goal. The senior from Iceland placed it perfectly around the edge of the wall and into the bottom corner for the opening Tech goal.
Then, with 30 seconds left before halftime, Kristo Strickler was fouled on the edge of the area, setting up another set piece for Mike Brizendine and Co.
Pereira, who shares the free kick duties with Ingason, tried to take it quickly but a Cardinal defender got in the way. After the referee moved the wall back to ten yards away, Pereira struck it beautifully, sending the ball into the upper corner at the far post and out of reach of the keeper.
The Hokies allowed six shots in the second half, forcing Mathjis Swaneveld to make two saves.
The Cardinals gave the Hokies a few scares in front of goal, including a cross from an attacker that ricocheted off the post and barely missed connecting with a Louisville striker for a goal.
Tech attacked the Cardinals towards the beginning of the half but sat farther back as the half wore on, eventually tiring out Louisville's attack.
When the Hokies traveled to Louisville earlier in the season, Tech took an early lead thanks to a 36th minute goal from Strickler. Then, with nine minutes remaining in the match, the Hokies allowed two goals in a three minute span and the Cardinals walked off the pitch with the victory.
Though Louisville missed a few chances, the Hokies did well defensively and did not give away any chances to the Cardinals like their last meeting.
A red card in the 87th minute on Louisville's William Portman helped seal the victory for the Hokies, who went up a man.
Portman, who had a few reckless challenges earlier in the match and was warned by the referee, made a late challenge on Tech's Nick Blacklock and was shown a straight red.
The Hokies (9-5-2, 2-4-2) exit Louisville with a 2-0 victory, their second straight win and their first clean sheet all season in a win against an ACC opponent. They'll hit the road again on Sunday to travel to Wake Forest.
The two teams, who are both top 10 in the NCAA's RPI (WF at 5, VT at 8), last met in Blacksburg in 2018, with the Demon Deacons escaping with a 2-1 victory. Sunday should be another thriller.