LAWRENCE, Kansas. (Wednesday, May 26, 2023) – Real Monarchs (4-6-0, 12 points, 11th in West) earned a 1-0 road victory over Sporting Kansas City II (4-4-2, 16 points, 6th in West) thanks to a strong clean sheet performance by goalkeeper Fernando Delgado.
Coming off of three straight losses, Real Monarchs entered the match against Sporting Kansas City II looking to come away with their first set of three points since April 30th. Both SKC II and the Monarchs set an aggressive tempo within the opening moments, sharing an even amount of possession and matching each other's high energy. Kansas City was the first to attack the opposition’s final third when in the 9th minute Cam Duke fired a shot into a fray of Monarchs defenders but the danger was easily cleared by holding midfielder Gennaro Nigro.
Real Monarchs quickly retaliated after the opening pressure and attacked SKC II throughout the remainder of the first half while applying defensive pressure to Kansas City’s attack. The Monarch’s were able to push the ball up the pitch into Sporting’s final third and win a throw-in on the left touch line. Receiving the ball, Gilberto Garcia was able to split two Kansas City defenders before rushing into the penalty area where he crossed a ball in the direction of midfielder Griffin Dillon. Sporting’s Lucas Rosa attempted to clear the danger but instead deflected the ball into his team's goal giving the Monarchs the lead. Despite outshooting the Monarchs by three attempts in the first half and controlling possession, it was Real Monarchs who entered the halftime break with a 1-0 advantage.
At the commencement of the second half Sporting Kansas City II looked to draw even with Real Monarchs, making multiple personnel changes in an attempt to regain momentum. The Kansas City side nearly found the equalizer when they fired two shots towards goal in the 50th and 54th minute, but both attempts were easily dealt with by keeper Fernando Delgado. SKC II almost drew even in the 72nd minute when second-half substitute Alenis Vargas had an open look at goal on the counter attack with only the goalkeeper to beat, but Delgado came off of his line with pressure to cause the shot to smack off the post.
Real Monarchs refused to settle for the lone goal from the first half and continued to take advantage of the counterattack themselves. Late into the half in stoppage time Terron Williams found himself unmarked in Sporting’s final third but his shot fell wide, unable to notch the second goal for the Monarchs. An impressive performance from Delgado and the Monarchs’ rearguard throughout the match helped the away side secure a clean sheet and the 1-0 victory against their rivals SKC II.
UP NEXT: Real Monarchs continue the 2023 campaign with a visit to Austin, Texas to play Western Conference foe Austin FC II. The Monarchs will meet Austin FC II at Parmer Field on Friday, June 2 at 7:00pm MT where they will face the City of the Violet Crown side for the first time in club history.
GOAL SCORING SUMMARY:
RM: Lucas Rosa (Own Goal) 31’: After receiving the ball from a throw-in RM MF Gilberto Garcia beat his marking defenders and struck a low cross towards RM MF Griffin Dillon. Dillon dove to make contact with the ball but before his head connected with the cross SKC II DF Lucas Rosa deflected the ball into the opposite corner of his own goal.
Real Monarchs (4-2-3-1): Fernando Delgado; Amferny Sinclair, Omar Alba, Bobby Pierre, Marcus Vazquez (Luis Rivera 56’); Genaro Nigro, Griffin Dillo; Gilberto Garcia (Terron Williams 81’), Jude Wellings, Julian Vazquez; Moses Neyman
Subs not used: Derreck Chan, Gershon Henry, Abokye Bikyeombe, Seth Powder, Duncan Jarvie
Sporting Kansas City II (4-3-3): Ethan Bandre; Jahon Rad (Nassim Mekideche 76’), Robert Voloder, Mohammad Abualnadi (Alenis Vargas 66’), Lucas Rosa; Danny Flores, Enzo Mauriz (Ethan Bryant 46’), Ozzie Cisneros; Cam Duke (Sebastian Cruz 56’), Pau Vidal, Andrew Draper (Stephen Afrifa 46’)
Subs not used: Carlito Saylon, Michael Lenis, Nati Clarke, Sebastian Cruz, Josh Coan
Stats Summary: RM / SKC IIShots: 12 / 7
Shots on Goal: 3 / 2
Saves: 2 / 3
Corner Kicks: 5 / 1
Fouls: 14 / 23
RM: Jude Wellings (caution) 30’
SKC II: Mohammad Abualnadi (caution) 39’
RM: Amferney Sinclair (caution) 41’
RM: Gennaro Nigro (caution) 70’
SKC II: Danny Flores (caution) 75’