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Gameday Report: August 2, Week 22

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 08/02/19, 9:08PM EDT

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Red Bulls II move top of Eastern Conference; Monarchs grab late winner against Switchbacks

The New York Red Bulls II moved top of the Eastern Conference for the night thanks to Sebastian Elney, Bienvenue Kanakimana stayed hot with a hat trick to lead ATL UTD 2 past Loudoun United FC, while Real Monarchs SLC got a late winner against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in Friday’s action in the USL Championship.

REAL MONARCHS SLC (1), COLORADO SPRINGS SWITCHBACKS FC (0)

HERRIMAN, Utah – Damian German’s first professional goal lifted the Monarchs to victory against the Switchbacks in a Four Corners Cup clash at Zions Bank Stadium. The Monarchs created the first chance of the game in the 18th minute when Luis Palma’s header from a corner from the right flicked wide of the left post, but two minutes later Palma tested Colorado Springs goalkeeper Abraham Rodriguez with a curling shot to the top-right corner that the young shot-stopper tipped over the crossbar. Real’s Luis Arriaga went close again in the 22nd minute with a shot from 20 yards that hit the crossbar, but the game went to the halftime break scoreless as the Switchbacks’ lone shot on goal was a tame effort by Matt Hundley that was easily saved in the final minute of the half. Chances were few early in the second half, but the Monarchs’ Julian Vazquez forced a low save by Rodriguez with 16 minutes to go on a shot to the right corner. The Switchbacks almost struck on a counterattack in the 79th minute when Jordan Burt’s cross from the right was just out of the reach of Austin Dewing at the top of the six-yard area, while Vazquez narrowly missed three minutes later after intercepting a pass in midfield to start a breakaway that he couldn’t quite capitalize on. Hundley then went close as he cut in from the left and shot low to the near post that forced a save from Putna, but with four minutes to go Vazquez created space on the left and lifted a cross to the top of the six-yard area that allowed German to head home into the right corner. That proved to be the winner as the Monarchs moved into the top six in the Western Conference.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Damian German, Real Monarchs SLC – German’s first professional goal capped a performance that saw him complete 11 of 12 passes while leading the attacking line for the Monarchs.

ATL UTD 2 (4), LOUDOUN UNITED FC (2)

KENNESAW, Ga. – Bienvenue Kanakimana scored a hat trick as ATL UTD 2 broke a 14-game winless streak with victory against Loudoun at Fifth Third Bank Field. Loudoun took the lead in the 14th when Antonio Bustamante found Gordon Wild in space through the middle, and the former Atlanta forward slid a low finish past the advancing goalkeeper and into the open net. The hosts got back on level terms five minutes later as Kanakimana scored for a third successive game with a near-post finish from the right side of the penalty area after a good through-ball by Will Vint, but Loudoun regained the lead in the 24th minute when a clearance by Atlanta goalkeeper Brendan Moore caromed off defender Wesly Decas and bounced into the open net. Kanakimana struck again in the 28th minute, however, as a blocked shot by George Bello rebounded to the top of the penalty area where the Burundi forward laced home a first-time finish to the top-left corner. Atlanta’s Laurence Wyke almost put the hosts ahead five minutes into the second half with a shot that flashed just over the crossbar, and Wild hit the bottom of the right post with a low shot from the left side of the penalty area for the visitors in the 64th minute. Atlanta’s Laurent Kissiedou had a golden opportunity to put his side ahead on a breakaway moments later, but Kanakimana completed his hat trick in the 70th minute as his low finish found the net after a through-ball by Decas to put the hosts ahead for the first time on the night. Jackson Conway then completed the scoring with an insurance goal with three minutes to go as he slid a low finish into the left corner of the net, securing Atlanta’s first win since April 13.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Bienvenue Kanakimana, ATL UTD 2 – Kanakimana continued his recent hot streak with a hat trick, giving him six goals over the past three games for Atlanta.

NEW YORK RED BULLS II (2), SAINT LOUIS FC (0)

MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Sebastian Elney scored both goals as the Red Bulls II took their 10th home win of the season against STLFC. The Red Bulls II had the first big chance in the 12th minute as a corner from the right was met by Tom Barlow at the near post for a flicked header to the left corner, but STLFC’s Collin Fernandez made the clearance off the goal line. New York’s Jared Stroud also had a shot that was deflected over the crossbar from 20 yards, but the hosts took the lead in the 34th minute as Stroud played Elney into the right side of the penalty area for a first-time finish to the near post. Saint Louis almost hit back immediately as Fernandez slid in Kadeem Dacres only for New York goalkeeper Evan Louro to come off his line quickly to block the finish, while the Red Bulls II went close to doubling their lead 12 minutes into the second half when a free header by Preston Kilwien off a free kick went wide of the left post. New York threatened again with eight minutes to go on a counterattack that set up Barlow for a first-time shot that was saved by STLFC goalkeeper Tomas Gomez. Saint Louis was reduced to 10 men in the 87th minute when Oscar Umar was sent off for denial of a goalscoring opportunity after bringing down New York’s Vincent Bezecourt just outside the penalty area, and from the ensuing free kick Elney bagged his second on the rebound after Bezecourt’s initial shot was palmed onto the crossbar by Gomez to seal all three points for the hosts.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Sebastian Elney, New York Red Bulls II – Elney bagged both goals for the hosts on three shots overall while also recording one key pass and winning 11 of 17 duels for the contest.

OTTAWA FURY FC (0), BIRMINGHAM LEGION FC (0)

OTTAWA – Ottawa Fury FC was unable to break down Birmingham Legion FC as the visitors went closest to finding the net at TD Place. Ottawa threatened in the third minute off a free kick from the left as the ball dropped to Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare just outside the six-yard area, but he sent his finish just wide of the left post. Legion FC’s first good chance came in the 18th minute when Daigo Kobayashi fired on goal on a free kick from just outside the left side of the penalty area, but it was comfortably saved by Fury FC goalkeeper Callum Irving. The visitors almost took the lead in the 34th minute, however, as Kobayashi hit the left post after a good sequence played Zach Herivaux into the right side of the penalty area for a low cross back to the center of the area. Ottawa had the final chance of the first half in stoppage time but Protais Mutambala’s redirection of Christiano Francois’ cross drifted wide of the left post to leave the game scoreless. Birmingham found the net in the 56th minute through Eddie Opoku only for the offside flag was raised to rule out the finish, while Francois flashed a shot just wide of the right post from the top of the penalty area for the hosts. Birmingham was reduced to 10 men with 12 minutes to go when Mikey Lopez was shown his second yellow card for a challenge on Ottawa’s Hadji Barry, but while Ottawa had a chance in stoppage time on a long free kick by Maxim Tissot that was saved by Matt Van Oekel, Legion FC held firm to earn a point on the road as the game ended scoreless.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Anderson Asiedu, Birmingham Legion FC – Asiedu served as a bulwark to Ottawa’s attack as he won 14 of 21 duels, won five tackles and recorded two interceptions for the visitors.

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