North Texas SC Domination Marred by Late Free Kick Goal
For 90 minutes, North Texas SC was in control following a beautiful team goal to the feet of Jose Mulato, until Real Monarchs equalized deep in stoppage time. Another tough one.
The weather was nice. The panoramic view beyond Real Monarch’s stadium was stunning. And an early goal had North Texas SC feeling in the mood to steal three points on the road at a crucial point in the season - until stoppage time, at least, when a Real Monarchs’ free kick headed a dangerous cross into the net to bring the game level.
It was a gut-wrenching moment for this young squad, who have had too many of those moments throughout a tough season in Next Pro.
North Texas SC played an incredibly strong 45 minutes in the first half. In addition to the Mulato goal, the squad generated dangerous opportunity after dangerous opportunity and frustrated the Real Monarchs who opted to play a pretty aggressive pressing approach. In particular, interim head coach John Gall appreciated Carl Sainte’s work in the middle of the field to control the match for his side.
In the second half, Real Monarchs came out with fresh energy and worked hard for the equalizer, but for 45 minutes, North Texas kept their attacks at bay, minimized the mistakes, and managed some further choice opportunities in attack.
“We knew the Monarchs were going to push the game. We were patient. Maybe a little more quality, then you finish the game,” Gall said to reporters. “It’s something we talked about the last few games - not only playing well but game management.”
Give North Texas one more minute, take away the foul leading to the free kick, and the locker room talk is vastly different.
“It was a tough one,” Gall spoke to media after the match. “The boys executed things really well. I thought we were really good for large portions of the game. In the second half, the Monarchs pushed the game. Unfortunately, the marking on the set piece at the end wasn’t good enough. Proud of the boys for doing the things we asked them to do.”
“It’s a mental thing. We foul when we are not supposed to foul. We didn’t continue playing our best style, lost the first half spark,” Jose Mulato added.
With the window of opportunity to climb back into the playoffs narrowing, the pressure will naturally increase on the squad. The coaching staff have a plan to keep things positive.
“We just stay positive with them. Of course, we are disappointed. We do everything together. Certainly not pointing fingers or looking to blame anyone. We have to do everything together,” Gall said.
Jose Mulato, according to his coach, deserved the goal after the continual hard work he puts in week in and week out. This was his first away goal of the season, bringing his total to 7 for the campaign.
“Very happy for the goal. We have to continue working. The possession was there. We had opportunities,” Mulato said to the media.
In the penalty kicks following the match-up, special credit goes to Nolan Norris for scoring on a panenka down the middle, channeling a bit of Alan Velasco. Unfortunately, Real Monarchs keeper Chan saved one penalty kick and another crashed off the crossbar and over the goal. Antonio Carrera, in an otherwise strong performance, just failed to keep the winning pk out of the net. The extra point went to the home side.
North Texas SC will regroup to face Tacoma Defiance on August 19 back home in Choctaw Stadium.
AFTERBURN SOCCER is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.