Loyal dominant, run rampant over Indy 5-0

Credit Josh Jimenez/ EVT Sports

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Credit: Josh Jimenez/ EVT Sports

Last week everything seemed to go wrong for the San Diego Loyal.

On Saturday night, their luck evened out. A flurry of goals, including a brace from Kyle Vassell, pushed San Diego to a record-setting win in dominant fashion.

While San Diego was the better side in the first half, Indy had the early opportunities. A set piece set up the Eleven with a header in the box, but it went straight at Koke Vegas, who handled it with ease. Indy continued to put the pressure on the Loyal, putting the ball in the net in the ninth minute. However, a foul from Manuel Arteaga took the goal off the board. San Diego finally began to grow into the game, drawing their first corner of the match. Captain Charlie Adams got his head to the ball but could not hit it cleanly.

The game was briefly stopped in the 26th minute when Indy goalkeeper Bryan Meredith required medical attention after Vassell stepped on his hand. Meredith did stay in for the immediate aftermath but left just four minutes later. 

Credit: Josh Jimenez/ EVT Sports

In the 30th minute, an error from Neveal Hacksaw allowed Amang to take possession in the offensive zone, and he evaded Meredith, who rushed out. Amang slotted the goal home with ease, removing Meredith from the match in the process. Twelve minutes later, the Loyal struck again when Kyle Vassell rolled a shot past Meredith’s replacement, Tim Trilk.

Trilk did make a fantastic save to deny Nick Moon, but he could not stop Vassell. Just moments later, Moon drew a penalty kick as Vassell readied to try and add to the lead. A failed chip attempt was sent over the bar as San Diego failed to stick the dagger in Indy.

In the second half, Vassell quickly atoned for his missed penalty, curling a beautiful shot into the left-side netting for his second goal of the night. After the match, manager Landon Donovan said, “A lot of times that {a missed penalty kick} can affect momentum. To Kyle’s {Vassell} credit, to our team’s credit, they just kept going.” He also slid a beautiful ball across the face of the goal, but it was just out of the reach of the recently substituted Tumi Moshobane. Moshobane came into the game for Amang, who was replaced at halftime.

Credit: Josh Jimenez/ EVT Sports

Moshobane made his impact felt when his 60th-minute shot was deflected into the back of the net by Mechack Jerome, putting the game way out of reach. With San Diego cruising, Vassell and Alejandro Guido were lifted for Evan Conway and Andrew Carleton. The Eleven seemed to be losing control, as both Sam Brown and Solomon Asante were handed yellow cards within moments of one another. Nick Moon was substituted for San Diego State Aztec player CJ Fodrey. Despite the comfortable lead, the Loyal kept pushing, as only a diving save from Trilk denied Conway from scoring another goal. 

Indy could not even really muster any offensive opportunities, putting together just one real chance in the second half. Arteaga pushed it over the bar, wasting the chance. The only dark spot of the night came from the 80th minute when Jack Blake was forced off with an injury, although he did walk off under his own power. A wonderful strike from Moshobane finished the night with a fifth goal in the 85th minute, helping to send “The Locals” into a state of delirium. San Diego kept pushing, as only diving saves stopped the Loyal from adding more. After the match, man of the match Kyle Vassell said that the victory was “very, very important” in regards to being a crucial bounce back from last weekend’s frustrating loss. 

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The five-goal margin was the biggest in franchise history, in a purely dominant display.

It was a spectacular night at Torero Stadium, and it gives the Loyal the momentum they need as they finish out the homestand against the defending USL champions, Orange County. 

It will be a short turnaround, as the match takes place on Wednesday night, but if Saturday was any indication, the Loyal are in fine form.

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