SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Saturday, May 8, 2021) – Real Monarchs (0-0-1, 1 point) opened the 2021 USL Championship season with a hard-fought 2-2 draw against San Antonio FC on Saturday night.
Ibrahim Bancé and Bode Davis both scored for the Monarchs, but first-half goals from San Antonio’s Marcus Epps and Emil Cuello left both sides with a point.
Despite earning the edge in possession, the Monarchs found themselves down early in a physical and tension-filled first half. In the 19th minute San Antonio midfielder Cameron Lindley threaded the ball through two Monarchs defenders to Epps, who slotted the ball into the bottom left corner of the net for the early lead. The Monarchs responded in the 23rd minute when forward Chris García’s pass into the box found the feet of Max Mata, but the shot was saved to keep the away side off the board.
San Antonio forward Nathan received a red card for a violent tackle on defender Daniel Flores in the 31st minute. Despite going down to 10 men, the home side managed to double the lead in the 44th minute. Cuello collected a loose ball in the box and fired a shot into the top right corner of the goal to take a 2-0 lead into the half.
The Monarchs came out flying in the second half. In just the 47th minute Davis sent a low cross into the box toward Bancé, who buried the shot into the bottom left corner to cut the lead in half. Following a poorly cleared ball from a defender in the 55th minute, Davis gathered the ball from outside the box and his left-footed shot passed the keeper into the net to draw the match level.
Garcia received his second yellow in the 76th minute and was sent off, leaving both sides with 10 men for the final 24 minutes. Both sides earned chances to steal the victory in the final minutes of the match, but none came closer than a chip shot by Cuello in the third minute of added time that hit the crossbar and bounced out to keep the sides even as the match ended 2-2.
UP NEXT: Real Monarchs will play its home opener versus LA Galaxy II at Zions Bank Stadium on Friday, May 14 at 7:00 p.m. MT
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
SA: Marcus Epps (Cameron Lindley), 19th minute: Lindley threaded a ball between two defenders into Epps on the right side of the box, who tucked the right-footed shot into the far post.
SA: Emil Cuello, 44th minute: Cuello collected a loose ball in the box and fired a left-footed shot into the top right corner of the net.
SLC: Ibrahim Bancé (Bode Davis), 47th minute: Davis sent a low cross into the box towards Bancé, who buried the ball into the bottom left corner.
SLC: Bode Davis, 55th minute: Following a poor clear from the defense, Davis gathered the ball outside the box and shot it past the keeper and into the bottom left side of the net.
The Real Monarchs started the match with five players from the RSL Academy, including current members Daniel Flores and Jaziel Orozco. Midfielder Christian Nydegger, also from the RSL Academy, made it six when he came on as a second-half substitute.
Goalkeeper Jeff Dewsnup made his professional debut in between the pipes.
Ibrahim Bance recorded his first goal with Real Monarchs in his club debut.
Defender James Moberg earned his 91st USL Championship and Real Monarchs appearance, putting him just nine matches away from 100 games played, a feat only former Monarch and current RSL defender Andrew Brody has accomplished.
Match: Real Monarchs vs. San Antonio FC
Date: May 8, 2021
Venue: Toyota Field; San Antonio, Texas
Weather: Partly cloudy and 88 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Monarchs 0 2 2
San Antonio FC 2 0 2
SA: Marcus Epps (Cameron Lindley) 19’
SA: Emil Cuello 44’
SLC: Ibrahim Bancé (Bode Davis) 47’
SLC: Bode Davis 55’
Real Monarchs (4-4-2): Jeff Dewsnup; Daniel Flores, Kyle Adams, Jaziel Orozco, James Moberg; Malik Johnson, Sam Brown, Ibrahim Bancé, Chris García; Max Mata (Aris Briggs 88’), Bode Davis (Christian Nydegger 73’)
Subs not used: Jimmy Slayton, Kevin Saucedo, Frankie Martinez, Abel Mendoza, Griffin Dillon
San Antonio FC (4-4-2): Matt Cardone; Sam Gleadle, Jasser Khmiri, Mathieu Deplagne, Victor Giro; Marcus Epps, Emil Cuello, Chris Lema (Ollie Wright 79’), Cameron Lindley; Santiago Patiño, Nathan
Subs not used: Jose Carlos Mercado, Ethan Bryant, Rocky Pérez, Leo Torres, Fabrizio Bernal, Shandon Hopeau
STATS SUMMARY: SLC / SA
Shots: 16 / 10
Shots on Goal: 5 / 5
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 4 / 2
Fouls: 21 / 20
Offside: 0 / 2
SLC – Chris García (caution) 26’
SA – Nathan (dismissal) 31’
SA – Santiago Patiño (caution) 38’
SA – Cameron Lindley (caution) 45’
SA – Victor Giro (caution) 68’
SLC – Chris García (dismissal) 76’
SLC – James Moberg (caution) 83’
SLC – Sam Brown (caution) 88’
Referee: Michael Radchuk
Assistant Referees: Jennifer Garner, Ricardo Ocampo
4th Official: Hector Hernendez