Real Monarchs SLC Advance to Western Conference Final with 2-1 Win over Phoenix Rising FC
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Real Monarchs SLC mounted a first half comeback to secure a 2-1 win over Phoenix Rising FC in the Western Conference Semifinal on Friday night. The win sees the Monarchs through to the Western Conference Final for the first time in team history.
MF Jack Blake equalized before MF Maikel Chang found the game-winner late in the first half to secure the teams spot in the Western Conference Final.
In a tense first half, the two sides traded possession and opportunities as DF Noah Powder and Chang took opportunities early in the first half that were near misses of the post. The match would see Phoenix Rising FC strike first through Junior Flemmings, who found the far post just and out of reach of GK David Ochoa. Real Monarchs made its first half comeback, as Blake rifled a shot that pushed past Rising FC's goalkeeper Zac Lubin's touch in the 33rd minute to find the back net and Chang broke free from a pressing Rising defense in the 43rd minute to slot home a left-footed shot on the near post. The pair of goals provided the Monarchs an important 2-1 lead at the half.
Real Monarchs packed in for the second half to protect its lead as Ochoa made a massive save in the 75th minute, protecting the net from a headed effort after Phoenix Rising was awarded a free kick from a dangerous spot out side the box. FW Douglas MartÃnez would get another opportunity in the 80th minute after going one-on-one with Lubin who came up big to keep his side alive. Within the dying moment, the Monarchs survived an onslaught of corner kick opportunities to punch its ticket to the Western Conference Final on the back of the 2-1 scoreline.
UP NEXT: Real Monarchs will return to Zions Bank Stadium to host the Western Conference Championship Final on Saturday, November 9 at 1:00 p.m. MT. Its opponent will be the winner of El Paso Locomotive FC and Sacramento Republic FC.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
PHX: Junior Flemmings (Adam Jahn), 25th minute: In an attack that started with Solomon Asante, Asante found Jahn who quickly pushed the ball forward behind the Monarchs backline where Flemmings was able to get in and make the run one-on-one to score with a quick shot into the far post for the opening goal of the night.
SLC: Jack Blake (Douglas MartÃnez), 33rd minute: The Monarchs found the equalizer on a shot from Blake when MartÃnez cut a pass over to Jack Blake who took a brief moment before taking a shot from the top of the box that went towards the back post. While Rising FC goalkeeper Zac Lubin was able to get a touch, it wasn't enough to stop the shot, leveling the scoring.
SLC: Maikel Chang (Noah Powder), 43rd minute: Powder pushed the attack forward to press through Chang. The Phoenix Rising defense crowded in but Chang was able to push through traffic and break free to take a left-footed shot at the near post for the second Monarchs goal of the night.
KEY SAVES AND DEFENSIVE STOPS
SLC: David Ochoa, 75th minute: From a dangerous area, Phoenix Rising FC set up to take a freekick that was sent to the far post where Rising FC pushed a shot on a frame with a headed effort. Ochoa came up big to shut down the effort with a huge right-handed save to keep the Monarchs lead intact.
PHX: Zac Lubin, 80th minute: After a wonderful pass from Luke Mulholland found a wide-open Douglas Martinez, MartÃnez went one-on-one with Lubin with time and space. From a close range, MartÃnez took his shot, but Lubin came up big to block the shot with his left leg and keep the Monarchs lead to one.
- Midfielder Ricardo Avila (ankle) was out of action due to injury.
- Real Monarchs SLC booked its ticket to the Western Conference Finals and will host the winner of El Paso Locomotive FC and Sacramento Republic FC on Saturday, November 9 at 1:00p MT.
- Real Monarchs SLC were the only team to claim victory over Phoenix Rising FC in Arizona in 2019.
Match: Real Monarchs SLC at Phoenix Rising FC
Date: November 1, 2019
Venue: Casino Arizona Field
Weather: 76 Degrees and Clear
Scoring Summary 1 2 F
Real Monarchs SLC 2 0 2
Phoenix Rising FC 1 0 1
PHX - Junior Flemmings (Adam Jahn), 25'
SLC - Jack Blake (Douglas MartÃnez), 33'
SLC - Maikel Chang (Noah Powder), 43'
Real Monarchs SLC (3-4-1-2): David Ochoa; Erik Holt, Kalen Ryden, Noah Powder, Konrad Plewa, Luke Mulholland, Tate Schmitt, Justin Portillo, Maikel Chang (Luis Arriaga, 83'), Jack Blake, Douglas Martinez
Subs not used: Andrew Putna, James Moberg, Steve Jasso, Sam Brown, Julian Vazquez, Damian German
Phoenix Rising FC (4-3-3): Zac Lubin; Corey Whelan, AJ Cochran, Amadou Dia (Jason Johnson, 86'), Joseph Farrell, Joey Calistri, Jon Bakero, Kevon Lambert (Ben Spencer, 79'), Junior Flemmings, Solomon Asante, Adam Jahn
Subs not used: Austin Ledbetter, José Aguinaga, Carl Woszczynski, James Musa, Kyle Bjornethun
Stats Summary: SLC/PHX
Shots: 10 / 24
Shots on Goal: 5 / 4
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 2 / 11
Fouls: 8 / 15
Offside: 1 / 0
PHX - Solomon Asante (Caution) 47'
SLC - Jack Blake (Caution) 61'
SLC - Noah Powder (Caution) 84'
Referee: Jon Freemon
Assistant Referees: Baboucarr Jallow, Stephen McGonagle
4th Official: Lukasz Szpala
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