Real Monarchs 0(9) at 0(10) Los Angeles Galaxy II
August 19, 2023; Dignity Health Sports Park; Los Angeles, California
Real Monarchs (6-12-5, 25 points; 12th West) at LA Galaxy II (4-13-6, 22 points; 13th West)
What You Missed: Searching for their first win since July 9, the Monarchs threatened to score early when Zack Farnsworth headed a ball directly at the Galaxy II ‘keeper. Just four minutes later Real Monarchs keeper Fernando Delgado was tested with a bicycle kick, but the ball was struck right into Delgado’s hands. 16-year-old forward Zavier Gozo had a couple of chances in the 14th and 15th minutes, but both of his attempts came up short. The hosts seemed certain to score the first goal of the game in the 21st minute but Delgado made a clutch save on a shot from six yards out to keep the game scoreless. In the second half, Ilijah Paul snuck behind the Galaxy backline and headed in a cross for what seemed to be the opening goal, but he was ruled offside. Delgado was once again called to action in the 65th minute, making a diving save to his right to stop Axel Picazo. In stoppage time, Moses Nyeman attempted to curl a shot around the keeper, but his shot was saved and the match headed into kicks from the penalty spot. The Monarchs’ first two penalties were saved, but Delgado matched them with two saves of his own to keep his team alive. Axel Kei faced a do-or-die situation in the fifth round and evened the shootout with a clinical take. Both sides went back and forth making each of their next six penalty takes, until Ilijah Paul was denied by the crossbar in the 12th round, giving LA Galaxy II the extra point.
Man of the Match: In his first game back since being sent off against San Jose on August 9, Fernando Delgado was critical in between the posts, making five saves in Real Monarchs’ shutout draw. The clean sheet marks the fourth time in Delgado’s career that he has not conceded a goal through 90 minutes. His save of the night came in the 21st minute when Galaxy II’s Gino Vivi broke through alone on goal and took a point-blank shot from the six-yard box, which was promptly pushed away by the Mexican Youth National goalkeeper. Delgado also made two impressive saves and converted a kick from the spot in the penalty shootout.
Telling Stats: Axel Kei, who signed a professional contract as a 14-year-old with Real Salt Lake at the beginning of 2022, made his first appearance with the Monarchs since September of last year, coming on as a half-time substitute. The match marks the fifth time this season that the Monarchs have gone to kicks from the penalty spot (2W-3L in penalties), and the third-consecutive match to finish in penalties. Tonight was also the second time this season that Galaxy II and Real Monarchs have gone to kicks from the penalty spot, with the Monarchs gaining the extra point back in June winning five to four. The Monarchs’ road record moves to 5-5-1.
What’s Next?: Real Monarchs will once again play in the City of Angels, taking on LAFC2 at Titan Stadium on Friday, August 25 at 8:00 p.m. MT. The Black and Gold took all three points from the previous matchup on May 21 in Herriman by a narrow 1-0 victory.