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Matchday Report: Monarchs, Switchbacks End Deadlocked in Utah

By Staff, 10/08/21, 11:02PM EDT


Real’s Axel Kei makes Championship history as youngest player to appear in league in 0-0 draw

HERRIMAN, Utah – Real Monarchs SLC and Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC ended deadlocked in a 0-0 draw on Friday night at Zions Bank History in a game that saw Axel Kei make USL Championship history as the youngest player to compete in the league, with the USL Academy signing coming on as a second-half substitute aged 13 years, 9 months and 9 days old.

The Switchbacks had the majority of possession in the opening half, but neither side created many clear chances. Championship Golden Boot leader Hadji Barry had an early header go over the crossbar in the sixth minute off a cross by Sebastian Anderson from the right, and then in the 32nd minute Anderson cut in off the right flank and delivered a left-footed shot that was saved by Monarchs goalkeeper Zac MacMath for the only shot on target of the half.

Real had a good early look at goal in the second half as Leo Torres turned into space 25 yards from goal and fired just wide of the right post, but the Switchbacks continued to look the more dangerous of the two sides overall. On the hour-mark the ball caromed loose to Jose Francisco Torres just outside the top-left edge of the penalty area after Barry was challenged for possession and the former United States international laced a shot that flashed wide of the far post.

Torres had another opportunity 11 minutes later as he was teed up for a first-time shot from 25 yards out struck with venom that MacMath had to tip over the crossbar. The Monarchs then went close as Milan Iloski turned over possession in the attacking third but curled his shot well over the crossbar.

The hosts had made history in the 61st minute when it introduced Kei – added to the squad as a USL Academy signing in July – as a replacement for Bobby Wood, who had a quiet outing overall. Kei almost had a chance to find a late goal as Iloski turned well in the left side of the penalty area and fired a low cross to the far post, only for a Switchbacks defender to intercept and turn the ball before it reached the young forward.

Colorado Springs had one final late chance to try and break the deadlock as Deshane Beckford spun well to get past his defender at the top-left corner of the penalty area only for MacMath to get down well and save at his near post, but that would be all as the rivals ended scoreless on a notable night for the Monarchs and Kei. Man of the Match

Beverly Makangila, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – Makangila effectively worked in front of the Switchbacks’ back line making 12 recoveries and completing 42 of 46 passes as the visitors earned a point on the road.

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