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Monarchs Held by Roughnecks

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 09/03/16, 11:08PM EDT


Tulsa stands firm after Velazco blast to earn a 1-1 draw against Real

Photo courtesy Real Monarchs SLC

SANDY, Utah – Real Monarchs SLC and Tulsa Roughnecks FC played to a 1-1 draw at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night as the Monarchs’ bid to jump into the top eight of the Western Conference at the end of the night came up short. The Monarchs almost took the lead just two minutes in when Amet Ramirez fired a shot off the left post, and Ricardo Velazco had a curling shot come back off the right post six minutes later. It was Tulsa that took the lead, however, as Cristian Mata scored in the ninth minute when he capitalized on a quick interception by Sammy Ochoa. The game then started to settle down, but the Monarchs hit back with a blistering finish from Velazco from 25 yards that found the top-right corner of the net to leave it even at the break. Tulsa pressured early in the second half, but the Monarchs came close to taking the lead in the 66th minute when Pedro Baez sent a header over the crossbar. Velazco then hit the post for a second time for the Monarchs a few minutes later, and Roughnecks goalkeeper Jake Feener made a big save to deny Ramirez in stoppage time, as the Monarchs came up empty in their search for a late winner.

9’ – TUL – Cristian Mata (Sammy Ochoa)
37’ – SLC – Ricardo Velazco (Amet Ramirez)

Three Things That Matter:

  • 1. The Monarchs had much the better of the game, but a standout performance by Roughnecks goalkeeper Jake Feener and the woodwork denied the hosts the victory they needed to keep up their playoff push on Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium. Going up against a side that has been eliminated from playoff contention, if Real misses out on a playoff berth at the end of the season, this is a game the side will look back at with disappointment that it didn’t result in all three points.

  • 2. The biggest moment of regret for the Monarchs will likely come over the goal they conceded, as a bad defensive giveaway led to a quick finish for Cristian Mata that the covering defense had little chance to prevent. Errors of that kind can often be the margin between winning and losing, and while Saturday night’s game ended in a draw, it will definitely feel like a loss in the Monarchs’ locker room.

  • 3. The Roughnecks, meanwhile, did a few teams a big favor with a tenacious display that rode its luck at times, but also put in the work to make life difficult for the Monarchs at others. Real’s goal by Ricardo Velazco was out of the top drawer, but other good chances the hosts created were at times either blocked away by the Roughnecks’ defense, or turned aside brilliantly by Jake Feener. The goalkeeper’s save of Amet Ramirez’s shot to the right corner in stoppage time allowed the Roughnecks to claim a point, and some pride in their performance. Man of the Match

Jake Feener, Tulsa Roughnecks FC – The Roughnecks goalkeeper proved up to the task as the visitors dealt with pressure throughout, and came up with the saves his side needed to take a point on the road.

Upcoming Games:

Real Monarchs SLC vs. Orange County Blues FC – Sept. 9, 9 p.m. ET, Rio Tinto Stadium

Tulsa Roughnecks FC at Swope Park Rangers – Sept. 10, 8:30 p.m. ET, Children’s Mercy Victory Field

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