SANDY, Utah – Grant Stoneman scored the lone goal as San Diego Loyal SC took a 1-0 victory against Real Monarchs SLC on Saturday afternoon at Rio Tinto Stadium, becoming only the sixth team to claim victory on the road against the defending USL Championship title-holders over the past four seasons.
Both teams had early chances, with Devin Vega missing the target from close range for the Monarchs in the second minute after a good move down the left, and San Diego’s Irvin Parra forcing a low save from Real goalkeeper Jimmy Slayton from 20 yards that saw Tumi Moshobane bounce a rebound chance wide of the right post. SD Loyal also had a big chance a few minutes later when Eric Avila forced a turnover on the left deep in the Monarchs’ half, but Collin Martin saw his chance snuffed out by a pair of converging defenders.
The visitors made no mistake in the 17th minute, however, as Stoneman rose highest at the near post off a corner kick from the left by Jack Metcalf and flicked home a header into the right corner for his first goal in the Championship.
The Monarchs were denied an equalizer 10 minutes before halftime when a good low cross from the right by Jack Blake found Kyle Coffee at the back post, and his finish went off the underside of the crossbar and appeared to cross the goal line before spinning out as the referee allowed play to continue.
San Diego almost doubled its lead early in the second half when an angled cross from the left found Moshbane breaking in at the right post. His first-time finish got past Slayton but was cleared off the line by the Monarchs’ Kyle Coffee and away to safety. Coffee then almost set up an equalizer for the hosts, but his floated cross from the left was headed just over the crossbar by Ryan Sierakowski.
Another key goal line clearance allowed San Diego to remain on top with three minutes to go as Metcalf blocked a headed finish by Sierakowski off a long throw-in from the right found him alone in the six-yard area. But while the Monarchs pressed to find a goal in extended stoppage time, SD Loyal held on to remain undefeated in their inaugural season.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Grant Stoneman, San Diego Loyal SC – Stoneman scored his first goal in the Championship for the game-winning goal, and was solid on the back line as SD Loyal posted its first shutout in club history.