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Gameday Report: September 4, Week 27

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 09/04/19, 9:15PM EDT

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Indy, Birmingham earn big wins; El Paso, Real Monarchs produce late comebacks

The Indy Eleven defeated New York Red Bulls II, 1-0, to begin a five-game slate across the Championship on Wednesday night. The Eleven, who have left it late before this season, waited until the 88th minute to break the deadlock with a headed goal from substitute forward Dane Kelly. With the win, Indy moves up to third in the Eastern Conference with New York holding their spot at the top. Birmingham Legion FC extended their unbeaten run to nine games with a 5-0 win over ATL UTD 2 on the road, their fourth win in five games. FIve different goalscorers helped Legion FC to their biggest win in club history, with Brian Wright, J.J. Williams, Daniel Johnson, Prosper Kasim, and Kyle Culbertson all tallying a goal as Birmingham added to their point cushion in ninth place. Elsewhere, Saint Louis FC earned its second straight win with a narrow 1-0 victory over Ottawa Fury FC at home. The hosts notched the game's lone goal in the 80th minute when substitute forward Tyler Blackwood, who had been on the field for just five minutes, flicked past Ottawa goalkeeper Callum Irving to lift his side to the win. Out west, draws were exchanged as El Paso Locomotive FC recovered from a two-goal deficit by scoring twice in the span of two minutes to finish 2-2 with Tulsa Roughnecks FC at Southwest University Park. Meanwhile, Real Monarchs SLC earned their late point with a goal from midfielder Jack Blake in the 96th minute to level with Las Vegas Lights FC, 2-2, at Zions Bank Stadium.

El Paso Locomotive FC (2) v Tulsa Roughnecks FC (2)

EL PASO, Tx. – El Paso Locomotive FC stormed back from a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 with Tulsa Roughnecks FC at Southwest University Park, scoring twice in as many minutes late in the second half. The first half saw both teams produce chances in the opening half-hour, but it would take until the 41st minute for one of them to open the scoring when Tulsa went ahead after midfielder Cristhian Altamirano took the ball of an El Paso defender and sent a cross in to Marlon, who headed off Ketterer and just over the line. Shortly into the second half, Altamirano turned provider to scorer when Marlon clipped a pass to just past the top of the box where Altamirano fired a swerving bullet past Ketterer to double hit team’s advantage. However, persistence paid off for Locomotive FC when forward Josué Gomez headed home a James Kiffe cross in the 80th minute to pull one back. Then, one minute later, Jerome Kiesewetter returned to the scoresheet when substitute Omar Salgado picked Kiesewetter out at the near post where produced a deft finish to beat Roughnecks FC goalkeeper Sean Lewis and eventually earn a point.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Cristhian Altamirano, Tulsa Roughnecks FC – Altamirano registered the assist on Tulsa’s first and scored their second while also winning 8 of 11 duels in 89 minutes of play. 

Real Monarchs SLC (2) v Las Vegas Lights FC (2)

HERRIMAN, Utah – Real Monarchs clawed back from a late deficit to draw 2-2 with Las Vegas Lights FC at Zions Bank Stadium in an exciting end-to-end contest. The visitors jumped ahead with an early goal in the ninth minute as midfielder Junior Sandoval picked out Christian Torres, who finished with his left foot to beat Monarchs goalkeeper Andrew Putna. However, the complexion of the match changed when Monarchs were awarded a penalty near the end of the half, and midfielder Jack Blake stepped up to convert from 12 yards out to level the scoring. The second half saw a few chances created for the hosts through Maikel Chang and Douglas Martinez, but neither could not beat Lights FC goalkeeper Adam Hobbs for a second goal as the half wore on. Instead, consistent pressure from Lights FC yielded an opportunity for forward Preston Tabort Etaka, who went on a solo run from near midfield before eventually slotting past Putna in the 81st minute to take the lead. However, in the 96th minute, Monarchs defender Kalen Ryden headed a pass down for Blake, who produced a low driven effort to the far post and in to grab a late point.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Jack Blake, Real Monarchs SLC – Blake had both of the Monarchs’ goals – one from the spot and one in open play – and won five of eight duels while completing just over 87 percent of his passes in 90 minutes of action.

Saint Louis FC (1) v Ottawa Fury FC (0)

SAINT LOUS, Mo. – Saint Louis FC picked up an important three points in a narrow 1-0 win over Ottawa Fury FC with a late goal from substitute Tyler Blackwood lifting the hosts. The visitors got the first solid look on goal when midfielder Wal Fall made something out of nothing with a distance effort that ended up just wide of Tomás Gómez’s goal. Then, the hosts turned up the pressure and forced two great saves from Fury FC goalkeeper Callum Irving as Kadeem Dacres had close range efforts in the 34th and 45th minute denied. Scoreless through halftime, Dacres was again the first to ask a question of Irving just after the hour mark as he cut in just outside the 18-yard box and fired a low effort to Irving’s left that the shotstopper collected with both hands. In the 80th minute, though, Saint Louis got its goal as a route one punt from Gómez to forward Kyle Greig led to a flick on for Blackwood, who produced a flick of his own past Irving to give his team the win.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Kyle Greig, Saint Louis FC – Greig was a force up front for Saint Louis, nodding on for the assist on Blackwood’s goal and creating three chances across a full 90 minutes.

Atlanta United 2 (0) v Birmingham Legion FC (5)

KENNESAW, Ga. – Birmingham Legion FC continued their impressive form with an emphatic 5-0 win against ATL UTD 2 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. Legion FC got things started almost immediately with a goal after just three minutes as forward Brian Wright danced his way past a defender and slotted through ATL UTD 2 goalkeeper Dylan Castanheira. Waiting until the 43rd minute for a second, forward J.J. Williams finished off an Eric Avila cross to double the visitors’ lead going into the break. Legion FC showed no signs of slowing down in the second half as midfielder Daniel Johnson added a third in the 51st minute with a well-struck low effort to Castanheira’s left that snuck inside the post. Prosper Kasim then added his name to the scoresheet by converting a penalty in the 81st minute before substitute Kyle Culbertson made it five with a deflected effort that hit the roof of the next on its way in. The win makes it four out of five for Birmingham as they extend their unbeaten streak to nine games in total.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Prosper Kasim, Birmingham Legion FC – Kasim was all over the park for Legion FC, scoring one from the spot and assisting on another, while also creating four chances and winning four of six duels in 90 minutes of action. 

Indy Eleven (1) v New York Red Bulls II (0)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Indy Eleven were lifted by a late Dane Kelly goal to beat New York Red Bulls II, 1-0, at Lucas Oil Stadium on Wednesday. Opening the game, the visitors launched an all-out assault in attack, with a pair of chances falling for forward Mathias Jørgensen that he narrowly missed. On the other end, Indy created enough in the attack for in-form forward Tyler Pasher but it was a giveaway from New York goalkeeper Evan Louro that yielded Pasher's best chance, though Louro made up for his misjudged pass with a vital save. In the second half, Red Bulls II forward Tom Barlow gave Indy goalkeeper Evan Newton his toughest test of the night when he flicked a cross to the near post that forced a point-blank save from the shotstopper. As the match looked like it was headed toward a scoreless draw, Indy substitute forward Dane Kelly changed the conversation when he ended off an impressive move by the hosts by rising to meet a deep cross from midfielder Macauley King and heading past Louro for the game's lone goal. The win sends the Eleven up to third in the Eastern Conference, while Red Bulls II hold their place at the top.

USL Championship Man of the Match

Evan Newton, Indy Eleven - Newton earned his 11th clean sheet of the year with the help of his defense, but he was spectacular in keeping New York at bay by making six saves and acting as Indy's last line of defense multiple times throughout a tense encounter. 

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