HERRIMAN, Utah. (Friday, June 9, 2023) – Real Monarchs (4-7-1, 14 points, 11th in West) gained two points in a 3-3 draw after regulation, defeating LA Galaxy II (2-8-3, 11 points, 13th in West) on kicks from the penalty spot 5-4 in seven rounds.
Coming off a tough 3-0 road loss last Friday at Austin, Real Monarchs looked to get their first win at home since a 5-1 thrashing of Portland on April 30th. The offense got rolling early when Gilberto Garcia was brought down in the box in the seventh minute, and Ilijah Paul converted on the penalty kick to take an early 1-0 lead. The advantage did not last long as Galaxy II came storming back in the 14th minute when Alex Alcalá split the Monarchs backline and set up Aaron Bibout for an easy tap-in.
The match settled down after two goals in the opening 15 with both teams trying to establish an upper hand. The Monarchs continued to press the backline, sending searching aerial passes but to no avail. The frequent switch of field stretched the Galaxy wide, but the visitors adjusted and contained the Monarchs attack. A corner kick in the 39th minute produced another goal opportunity, but Bobby Pierre’s attempt went wide of the frame. Galaxy II’s goal scorer Bibout came close to scoring a first-half brace just before the stroke of halftime on a sweetly-struck volley, but Fernando Delgado handled the shot with ease to keep the score level heading into the break.
Real Monarchs opened the second half in a similar fashion to the first, finding the back of the net in the 49th minute. Gennaro Nigro played a short corner to Moses Nyeman who whipped in a cross to the six-yard-box, finding the head of Amferny Sinclair rising above the Galaxy II defense to see it past the ‘keeper, handing the lead back to the Monarchs. Sinclair had another chance in the 60th with an acrobatic bicycle kick in front of goal, but he was unable to connect.
The visitors answered back once again as the Monarchs backline broke down and Alex Alcalá ran onto the end of a through ball from Adrián González, slotting in a shot from short distance past Delgado just eight minutes later. The Monarchs pushed to find another go-ahead in the 82nd when Nyeman led a counterattack from midfield and sent a cross in for new signee Darón Iskenderian, but his volley was corralled by Galaxy II keeper Simon Jillson.
The Galaxy jumped out in front for the first time in the 84th minute, courtesy of Elijah Amadin who headed in a cross from Alcalá with Delgado out of the net after he attempted to punch the ball. In the dying moments of stoppage time, the Monarchs found their own game-tying goal when Ilijah Paul jumped on the end of a Gilberto Garcia cross just in front of frame, sending the match to kicks from the penalty spot for the first time this season.
Kicks From the Penalty Spot
Encapsulating the back-and-forth nature of regulation, the shootout took seven rounds to determine a winner. Moses Nyeman was denied by Jillson and Gennaro Nigro missed wide left from the Monarchs first two attempts, putting them in a deep hole after the Galaxy connected in the first two rounds. Bertin Jacquesson took a cool kick down the middle to put the Monarchs on the board, and Alex Alcalá fell down at the spot and hit the crossbar giving the hosts a breath of life. Daró Iskenderian was clinical to tie it briefly at 2-2, but Aaron Bibout matched him to give the Galaxy the lead through four. Ilijah Paul also capitalized on his do-or-die attempt, leaving LA’s Ascel Essengue an opportunity to steal one on the road. Fortunately for the packed crowd at Zions Bank, Essengue’s shot sailed wide, and the kicks from the penalty spot were all knotted at three after the first five rounds.
Now into sudden death, Griffin Dillon scored bottom left, and Adam Saldaña responded with the same to keep the shootout alive. Terron Williams stepped up next and went to the keeper’s left, just past Jillson’s outstretched arms to put the pressure back on Galaxy. Elijah Amadin, who scored earlier in the match to give LA a 3-2 lead late, tried to beat Fernando Delgado to his left but the Mexican Youth National guessed the same way and made the game-winning stop, throwing his hands in the air and pumping his arms towards the elated fan section behind the net.
The shootout victory will go in the books as a 2-point draw, with the Galaxy headed back to LA with a point. It is just the second victory for the Monarchs on kicks from the penalty spot, going 1-3 last season.
UP NEXT: Real Monarchs are on the road next week, traveling north of the border to take on Vancouver Whitecaps 2 on June 15 at 7:00 p.m. MT before returning to Zions Bank Stadium on June 18 to host St. Louis City SC 2 at 8:00 p.m. MT.
GOAL SCORING SUMMARY:
RM: Ilijah Paul 7’: After Gilberto Garcia received a boot to the chest inside the penalty area, Ilija Paul stepped up to the spot and fooled the keeper slamming the ball home down the middle.
LA: Aaron Bibout (Alex Alcalá) 14’: Alex Alcalá split a handful of defenders down the left hand side charging towards the near post and centered a pass to Aaron Bibout for a simple tap-in goal.
RM: Amferny Sinclair (Moses Nyeman) 49’: Captain Gennaro Nigro played a short corner to Moses Nyeman, who sent in a cross into the box finding Amferny Sinclair rising above the crowd to head the ball home.
LA: Alex Alcalá (Adrián González) 68’: Galaxy II broke down the Monarchs backline and Alcalá was in on goal following a perfectly-weighted through ball by Adrián González, slotting it past Delgado.
LA: Elijah Amadin (Alex Alcalá) 84’: After winning a corner kick, Alex Alcalá served a cross into the box pulling Fernando Delgado off his line, and Elijah Amadin directed the ball down, bouncing into an empty net.
RM: Ilijah Paul (Gilberto Garcia) 90+2’: Gilberto Garcia sent in an aerial pass over the Galaxy II backline, finding Ilijah Paul who tapped the ball around Jillson to send the match into kicks from the penalty spot.
Kicks from the penalty spot:
Real Monarchs (first) LA Galaxy II (second)
Moses Nyeman (saved) Adrián González (make)
Gennaro Nigro (miss) Juan Calderón (make)
Bertin Jacquesson (make) Alex Alcalá (miss)
Darón Iskenderian (make) Aaron Bibout (make)
Ilijah Paul (make) Ascel Essengue (miss)
Griffin Dillon (make) Adam Saldaña (make)
Terron Williams (make) Elijah Amadin (saved)
RM Wins Shootout 5-4
Real Monarchs (4-2-3-1): Fernando Delgado; Gennaro Nigro, Omar Alba, Bobby Pierre, Luis Rivera; Gilberto Garcia (Griffin Dillon 69’), Amferny Arias Sinclair; Moses Nyeman, Jude Wellings (Daron Iskenderian 69’), Ilijah Paul; Bertin Jacquesson (Terron Williams 79’)
Subs not used: Blake Kelly, Abokye Bikyeombe, Gershon Henry, Seth Powder, Gabriel Oksanen, Julian Vazquez
LA Galaxy II (5-4-1): Simon Jillson; Axel Picazo (Owen Bizzaro 61), Javier Zapien, Ascel Essengue, Matteo Carbone (Elijah Amadin 54’), Adrian Gonzalez; Sergio Villapando (Juan Calderón 54’), Brandon Tellez (Diego Rodriguez 61’), Adam Saldaña, Alex Alcalá; Aaron Bibout
Subs not used: Aaron Cervantes, Nicholas Rozo, Luis Medina
Stats Summary: RM / LAShots: 7 / 7
Shots on Goal: 4 / 5
Saves: 2 / 1
Corner Kicks: 3 / 5
Fouls: 15 / 14
LA: Matteo Carbone (caution) 7’
RM: Luis Rivera (caution) 17’
RM: Amferny Sinclair (caution) 40’
RM: Bertin Jacquesson (caution) 43’
RM: Gennaro Nigro (caution) 63’
LA: Elijah Amadin (caution) 76’