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Gameday Report: September 3, Week 26

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 09/03/18, 11:04PM EDT

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San Antonio ends Monarchs’ home undefeated streak with 2-1 victory


Photo courtesy Real Monarchs SLC

THREE THINGS THAT MATTERED

1. San Antonio FC became the first visiting team to take victory at Zions Bank Stadium – and took a second consecutive win on the road at Real Monarchs SLC overall – in a 2-1 result that sent the visitors back into the top eight in the Western Conference standings. SAFC’s second consecutive road victory continued to undo the damage done by its prior four-game losing streak and set the side up for a big return home this Saturday night when another Western Conference contender in Phoenix Rising FC comes to Toyota Field.

2. Lance Laing’s value to San Antonio down the stretch shone through again as the Jamaican picked up a goal and assist for a second consecutive game, including a second consecutive game-winner that put the visitors back ahead just two minutes after the Monarchs had got back on level terms after a good start to the second half. With a playoff battle to fight, Laing is looking like the difference-maker SAFC needs to earn a top-eight finish at the end of the regular season.  

3. The Monarchs not only suffered their first defeat at the club's new home venue on Monday night but also fell for a second consecutive outing for the first time this season to continue to leave the race for first place in the Western Conference wide open. With Phoenix Rising FC having the chance to move level on points with Real on Wednesday night as it hosts Rio Grande Valley FC, seeding at the top of the Western Conference now looks set to come down to the wire for the top three teams in the standings.

GAME REPORT

REAL MONARCHS SLC (1), SAN ANTONIO FC (2)

HERRIMAN, Utah – Lance Laing had a goal and assist as San Antonio FC took a 2-1 victory against Real Monarchs SLC, ending the Western Conference-leader’s 12-game undefeated streak at Zions Bank Stadium. San Antonio had the first serious threat to take the lead as Pecka fired a shot from the right side toward the top-left corner in the 27th minute that Real goalkeeper Adam Grinwis punched away, and Grinwis came up with a fingertip stop to keep out a header by Mike Seth three minutes later off a corner from the left. The visitors took the lead in the 31st minute, however, as Ever Guzman headed into the right corner off a delivery by Laing to cap a solid spell of pressure. The Monarchs almost hit back immediately when Charlie Adams was denied by Matt Cardone on a shot from 10 yards, while Grinwis made a solid save four minutes before halftime as Omar Gordon sent a free kick toward the left corner of the net. San Antonio almost added to its lead as it turned play over in the Monarchs’ half early in the second half, but Conor Presley’s shot was saved by Grinwis, while Real just missed out on an equalizer when Kalen Ryden headed over in the 61st minute as the hosts build on a good start after the break. That pressure told in the 64th minute as Konrad Plewa scored his first goal of the season with a close-range finish off Justin Portillo’s free kick from the left. San Antonio hit back just two minutes later, however, as Laing curled home a finish from 20 yards into the left corner of the net, and Gordon fired high soon after with a chance to make it a two-goal lead. The Monarchs almost equalized again with 10 minutes to go as substitute Jamal Charles found the side-netting after a loose defensive header inside the SAFC penalty area, and Charles almost had another chance five minutes later as he got to a through-ball ahead of Cardone only for the SAFC goalkeeper’s challenge to force him wide on the right and without a shooting angle to finish. The Monarchs had one final chance deep in stoppage time, but Jack Blake’s shot deflected off a defender and off target as the club’s undefeated streak on home turf came to an end.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Lance Laing, San Antonio FC
– Laing recorded a goal and assist for a second consecutive game and finished the night with two key passes to help lead San Antonio’s attack in another big road victory.

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