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Monterey Bay eliminated from Open Cup in penalty shootout by LAFC

By Staff, 05/10/23, 3:14AM EDT


Goals by Dawkins, Maldonado sent hosts into lead in extra time before visitors rallied, earned victory from the spot

Photo courtesy Kiera Winslow / Monterey Bay F.C.

SEASIDE, Calif. – Monterey Bay F.C. saw its Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup dreams come to an end on Tuesday night as Los Angeles FC of Major League Soccer advanced 5-4 in a penalty shootout after the teams had played to a 2-2 draw through regulation and extra time before a club-record crowd at Cardinale Stadium.

Trailing late in regular time, Monterey Bay grabbed a 90th-minute equalizer as Simon Dawkins found the net from the top of the penalty area to revive the hosts chances, and four minutes into extra time Jesse Maldonado scored his first goal at Cardinale Stadium to give Monterey Bay the lead.

LAFC was able to rebound and leveled the score again through Matheus Maia, and then goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic made a pair of saves for the visitors to send them through, denying Monterey Bay’s Mobi Fehr in the sixth round to end the night on a down note for the hosts.

Monterey Bay had made a strong start to the contest and had the first good look of the game in the 19th minute when Fehr’s header off a free kick by James Murphy went just wide of the left post. Six minutes later, however, LAFC took the lead as Christian Torres calmly shot home from just inside the penalty area into the right corner.

The hosts almost responded just past the half-hour mark when a corner kick fell to Fehr inside the penalty area, but his shot from the top of the six-yard area rattled off the crossbar and away to safety. Alex Dixon also threatened for the hosts nine minutes before halftime but Jakupovic made a solid save to keep LAFC on top at the break.

MBFC stayed on the front foot in the second half, but needed a crucial save by goalkeeper Antony Siaha to prevent the visitors from doubling their lead in the 66th minute when he denied Nathan Ordaz in a one-on-one. That proved crucial in the final minute as Dawkins fired home from the top of the penalty area after being introduced as a late substitute for his first appearance of the season to send the game to extra time.

The momentum of the hosts carried through into the additional 30 minutes and Maldonado put Monterey Bay ahead in the 94th minute when he received a pass from Christian Volesky while breaking into the penalty area and lifted home a finish into the left corner. The visitors responded with well-worked goal of their own in the final minute of the first period of extra time as Maia shot home from the right side of the box after a good pass by Danny Crisostomo, eventually sending the game to a shootout.

Siaha then provided the first big moment of the shootout for the hosts as he denied Crisostomo in the third round before Kai Greene converted to put Monterey Bay ahead. Jakupovic responded with a save of his own in the fourth round on MBFC’s Sean Okoli, however, allowing LAFC to get back on level terms, and then scored himself in the fifth round before Chase Boone converted for Monterey Bay to send the shootout into a sixth round. After Diego Rosales found the net for LA and Jakupovic denied Fehr, the visitors advanced in dramatic fashion.

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