HERRIMAN, Utah (Sunday, April 30, 2023) – Real Monarchs (3-3-0, 9 points) put on an offensive showcase with an emphatic 5-1 win over Portland Timbers 2 at Zions Bank Stadium. Real Salt Lake Homegrown Diego Luna recorded a brace, while Ilijah Paul, Terron Williams and Tyrone Mondi each added one of their own, to secure the come-from-behind win with five goals in the second half.
At the sound of the whistle Real Monarchs quickly launched an aggressive attack against Portland Timbers 2. The Monarchs created an early chance in the fourth minute when Luna whipped in a cross from a corner, finding Paul for a header but his shot missed just right. Timbers 2 were quick to retaliate on the counter-attack, with Tega Ikoba beat Real Monarchs defender Bobby Pierre in the box. However, an unfortunate foul by Pierre awarded Portland a penalty, which Ikoba slotted in above the diving arms of goalkeeper Gavin Beavers to take the 1-0 lead in the 11th minute.
Throughout the remainder of the first half Real Monarchs continued to threaten to score. Within the first 25 opening minutes of the match, the Monarchs had created multiple chances and got off 4 shots, none of which ended up being on target. Mondi had the best opportunity of converting a chance in the first minute of stoppage time when Cayne Madhlangove beat Timber’s Blake Pope with a feint and crossed the ball across the face of goal. Madhlangove’s cross cleanly connected with Mondi but the forward was unable to convert, missing to the left of goal and the Monarchs were left trailing 1-0 heading into the halftime break.
When Real Monarchs returned to the field for the second half they continued the offensive dominance and in the 65th minute the Monarchs attacking pressure finally resulted in a fruitful opportunity. Paul found Luna in the box who fired a driven shot in between the posts, marking the first time that the midfielder has scored for the Monarchs across all competitions. Luna quickly found his second goal of the match ten minutes later when he had sufficient space in the center of the box and fired a driven shot past Timbers 2 keeper Ryan Bilichuck.
Two minutes after Luna netted a brace the Monarchs found the back of the net again, this time with Mondi laying off a pass off for Williams to one-touch it in for the 3-1 lead. Then, four minutes later, Paul got one of his own, heading in a cross off a free kick from Luna, all but ensuring victory for the home side.
With seconds left in the game it appeared as if the Monarchs would walk away with the 4-1 win, but Mondi was quick to win the ball deep in the Timbers 2 half. After driving forward and sending a pass up to Marcus Vasquez, Mondi ran onto a threaded return pass and slammed home the final goal, ending the offensive onslaught 5-1 in favor of the Real Monarchs.
UP NEXT: Real Monarchs will play their second game in a row at home against Tacoma Defiance next weekend on Friday, May 5 at 8:00 pm M.T. at Zions Bank Stadium.
GOAL SCORING SUMMARY:
POR: 11th minute: After being awarded a penalty for a foul inside the box by Bobby Pierre, Tega Ikoba stepped up to the spot and slotted his shot overtop the diving arms of Gavin Beavers.
RM: Diego Luna (Ilijah Paul) 65th minute: Paul laid off a short pass for Luna who took a curling shot with his left foot, which ricocheted off the goalkeeper's hand and into the back of the net.
RM: Diego Luna (Ilijah Paul) 74th minute: Paul saw his initial shot blocked by a Portland defender, leaving the ball bouncing around the six-yard-box. Paul slotted the ball towards Luna, who quickly pounced. Putting his defender on skates, Luna repositioned the ball to his right foot to set up a tight shot underneath the Timbers’ goalkeeper.
RM: Terron Williams (Tyrone Mondi) 76th minute: Mondi drove towards the endline, before cutting back to lay a pass off for Williams who one-touched his shot past the unsuspecting goalkeeper.
RM: Ilijah Paul (Diego Luna) 80th minute: A foul just outside the 18-yard-box set up a free kick which Luna served up on a platter to the head of Paul, From nearly 10 yards out Paul flicked a shot, lofting it over top the ‘keeper and into the far post.
RM: Tyrone Mondi (Marcus Vasquez) 90+3rd minute: Winning from deep within the Timber’s half, Mondi drove upfield, passing the ball to Vasquez who took several touches forward before threading a pass through several defenders back to Mondi. Running on to the pass, Mondi rocketed off a right-footed shot deep into the back of the net.
Real Monarchs (4-2-3-1): Gavin Beavers; Luis Rivera, Omar Alba, Bobby Pierre (Gershon Henry 76’), Cayne Madhlangove; Moses Neyman, Griffin Dillon (Amferny Arias 71’); Diego Luna (Marquez Vazquez 84’), Tyrone Mondi, Terron Williams (Seth Powder 84’); Ilijah Paul
Subs not used: Duncan Jarvie, Fernando Delgado, Marcelo Mondragon, Nicholas Nobles
Portland Timbers 2 (4-4-2): Ryan Bilichuk; Keesean Ferdinand, Tyler Clegg (Sean McDowd 88’), Julian Bravo, Blake Pope; Jaden Jerome Jones-Riley (Diego Elizade 81’), Noel Caliskan, Michael Vang (Alexis Moreno 81’), Victor Griffith; Selmir Miscic, Tega Ikoba
Subs not used: Volodymyr Kubrakov, Carver Miller, Diego Elizalde, Joshua Penn
Stats Summary: RM/POR
Shots on goal: 8/1
Corner Kicks: 3/5
POR: Micahel Vang (caution) 59’
RM: Moses Neyman (caution) 71’
POR: Alex Moreno (caution) 90’