North Texas SC drops another game on a late goal

“I think it is a tough one, at the end of the day and a minute later and the conversation in the locker room is very different.”

Interim Head Coach John Gall set his team up well, and North Texas defended a one-goal lead fiercely for 60 minutes, but a stoppage-time set piece led to another heartbreaking draw and loss on Kicks from the Spot.

The Game

Tomas Pondeca earned another start after goals in consecutive games, Nolan Norris started at left back after a season-ending injury by Tyshawn Rose versus Portland, and Amet Korca at center back.

New signing and young Argentine Lautaro Taboada was also on the bench to start.

Monarchs came out the gates firing, with the majority of attacks through the first 25 minutes, with the shot and possession advantage.

After a collision sent Herbert Endeley into the advertising boards, he would quickly return to the field ready for action, and 7 minutes later began a great move for North Texas.

GOAL! Endeley slid a beautiful ball into the box for Jose Mulato who made no mistake, as he smashed it home for the opener for the match.

Real Monarchs continued the half on the front foot, but Antonio Carrera was always quicker to the ball off his line. North Texas would take their one-goal lead into halftime.

Alex Araneda was subbed on for Amet Korca at the half.

2 minutes after the restart, Keller Storlie has a shot rip off the post.

20 minutes into the second half, a Monarchs attacker is played in behind, Carrera closed the attacker down quickly and the forced chip attempt goes wide.

North Texas absorbed pressure for much of the second half, staying compact and breaking on the counter allowing no high-threat chances for the majority of the second half.

Some interesting second-half subs took place, with new signing Lautaro Taboada set to get 20+ minutes of action in his first game for the club.

Taboada had a few opportunities on the ball in his time on the field but seemed to have some first-game jitter, with a shot going far wide and some lost possession.

With 1 minute of stoppage time remaining, Monarchs equalized on a header off of a free kick.

As the match finished 1-1 at full time, it went to Kicks from the Spot to decide on who earns the extra point after the draw.

Carl Sainte started it off with a powerful blast to the left side netting, followed up by a wonderful paneka chip by Norris.

Anthony Ramirez‘ effort to his right was saved, a good stretch by the opposing goalie to deny the quality shot from the young winger. Taboada followed Ramirez with a blast that skimmed the crossbar but did not find the net.

Carrera chose to try to react to the penalties, as opposed to guessing and diving when the ball in struck. Unfortunately, this was not fruitful for North Texas in the shootout, who fell 4-2 and yet again missed out on an extra point shootout.

Quotes and Takeaways

North Texas played well, they had a clear gameplan and were able to keep the Monarch’s attack at for the match, poor marking on a last-minute set piece let them down.

Coach Gall reflected as much during his post-game press conference, “I thought we were really good for large parts of the game. In the second half, the Monarchs pushed the game and we held things as we needed to. Unfortunately, the set piece at the end let us down.”

“I think it is a tough one, at the end of the day and a minute later and the conversation in the locker room is very different.”

“It is about game management and doing the right thing in the last few minutes, and unfortunately we were not able to do that.”

Carl Sainte has been massive for North Texas in the midfield and received some praise from Gall for his work, “Really well, pleased with Carl dominating the central part of the pitch.”

A rather forlorn-looking Jose Mulato commented on the match and late-game struggles for the team,

“It is a mental thing, sometimes we foul when we are not supposed to foul. We did not keep playing our playstyle and lost the first half spark that we had.”

“Very happy for [my] goal, we have to continue working, the possession was there, we liked our opportunities but couldn’t make the most of them. We played well but disappointed from the result.”

North Texas return to Choctaw Stadium on Saturday, August 19th for a showdown versus Tacoma Defiance.

Tomas Pondeca shoots on goal vs Real Monarchs, August 12, 2023. (Courtesy NTXSC)

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