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Real Monarchs downed by Austin Aztex, 3-2 after stoppage time goal

Real Monarchs dropped 3-2 to Austin Aztex after being seemingly headed for a win on Saturday night, with the result surely a disappointment.

Aztex, coached by former Real Salt Lake assistant Paul Dalglish, took a lead early on in the first half when the defense lost cohesion in the 14th minute, opening a clear shooting opportunity for Aztex standout forward Kris Tyrpak.

The first half picked up for the Monarchs not too long after, but it took until the 39th minute for anything productive to come from the team's efforts, when Emery Welshman was fouled in the penalty area after rounding a defender. Max Rauhofer scored the ensuing spot kick with a driven ball down the middle of the box — his third goal in four games for the club.

Monarchs took the lead 10 minutes into the second half when Lucas Baldin took a low, driven shot-cross-pass from a free kick outside the box that skipped around and bounced past the Aztex goalkeeper.

Austin turned the match around as late as they could ask — an 88th minute free kick from a wide position ended with Drew Yates scoring a headed goal to tie things up.

The final minute of stoppage time, of which there were three given, ended somewhat strangely. Lalo Fernandez didn't gain a strong hand on a ground-skimming shot that trickled through his arms, and it rolled behind him and over the line. A bit of injury was added to the insult of letting in a goal like that, with Aztex player Brendan King dragging his foot across the head of Fernandez after knocking the ball out of his arms — with the referee already seeming to have signaled for the goal, it only added to the ignominy of the defeat.

Boyd Okwuonu was substituted in the first half after suffering a shoulder injury, which was likely related to his shoulder issue sustained on international duty.