Real Monarchs 2 (Mafwenta 21, Mondi 89) Wolves 0
Wolves under-21s were edged out by Real Monarchs in the sweltering Salt Lake City heat on Saturday morning, as pre-season intensified for James Collins’ group. A first-half header from Golden Mafwenta and late second by Tyrone Mondi saw the tournament hosts claim the victory at the Rio Tinto Stadium, following another useful test for Wolves’ youngsters.
Less than 42 hours after their winning start to the inaugural MLS NEXT Pro tournament, Wolves went again in the United States sun, conditions Collins’ side would rarely have experienced and would play a part in proceedings. The Monarchs started on the front foot, but the old gold were grateful to see Jaziel Orozco head over having risen highest from a corner.
However, the hosts remained a threat from set pieces and made one count on 21 minutes when Pedro Fonseca swung a cross in and Golden Mafwenta’s run to the front post took him past Justin Hubner and allowed him to guide a clever across the face of goal and into the corner.
The hosts, well acclimatised to the conditions, continued to dominate on the chances front and 14-year-old Axel Kei stung the palms of Palmi Arinbjornsson following a clever turn. The stopper was called into action on the stroke of half-time as well, as he raced off his line to thwart Fonseca, before saving with his feet seconds before the whistle.
Half-time | Real Monarchs 1 Wolves 0
The second-half allowed Collins to freshen up his side, offering minutes to most of his substitutes, and Wolves did enjoy more of the ball, but were still pleased to see Mondi’s effort flash wide from distance.
In truth, the second period produced little in terms of chances, but one of the few did result in the decisive goal for the hosts. Aziz Kayondo got the better of Jack Scott down the left and teed up Mondi, who was composed enough to fire into the roof of the net.
Wolves did almost grab one back in injury time, when Marcus Vazquez’s header towards his own goal was turned over the crossbar by goalkeeper Gavin Beavers. Then, from the resulting corner, substitute Nathan Fraser had a volley saved by Beavers, and with that went the final chance of the contest.
Full-time | Real Monarchs 2-0 Wolves
Wolves | Arinbjornsson (Young 46), Matheson (Ojinnaka 61), Kandola (Scott 46), Tipton, Hubner, Keto-Diyawa, Scicluna, Hodnett (Esen 68), Birtwistle, Roberts (Fraser 61), Harkin (Farmer 81).
Unused subs | He.