Real Maryland falls 2-0 in friendly to Firpo

Real Maryland Monarchs News Release -

Friday, June 27, 2008

GERMANTOWN, MD -- Real Maryland went down 2-0 to El Salvador’s L.A. Firpo in front of a sold out Maryland SoccerPlex. Eduardo Campos’ strike in the 19th minute was followed up Carlos Calderon’s 71st minute penalty to award the Salvadorian visitors the much deserved win.

Heavy rain before the match did not deter the game’s 4,000 fans from arriving to witness the Monarchs take on one of the best teams in Central America and it was the visitors who began moving the ball around early.

L.A. Firpo got their first real chance on goal in the 6th minute after a foul on Ramon Avila 35 yards outside of the goals. Emerson Veliz’s subsequent cross into the box was on target to meet the head of Fernando Leguizamon but Monarch’s goalkeeper Emilio Zelaya swiftly jumped out to grab the ball.

The Monarchs replied in the 11th minute with some quick passing through the midfield. The attack began down the left wing with midfielder Mateus Dos Anjos who found Angel Higuera free in the center of the field. Reacting quickly, Higuera passed it to Muner Hassan who in turn moved the ball forward to striker Ronald Cerritos to latch on to. The striker’s run into the box was met with three L.A. Firpo defenders who closed down the threat.

The first goal of the game arrived in the 19th minute after some defensive errors inside the Maryland 18 yard box. Seizing his opportunity to capitalize off the mistakes, L.A. Firpo’s Campos found the ball and his fierce strike found the back of Zelaya’s net. 1-0 to L.A. Firpo.

The Salvadorian team nearly had its second goal in the 40th minute after midfielder Carlos Monteagudo managed to maneuver through Maryland’s defense. Luckily for the Monarchs, his shot on goal was weak and poses little threat to Zelaya.

The second half began for the Monarchs with some inspiring passing between midfielders Higuera and Hassan, with the latter setting up Dos Anjos in the 51st minute to shoot for goal from 25 yards out.

The Salvadorian side took notice of Maryland’s new found confidence and replied two minutes later inside the 18 yard box when Campos managed to hit the upright woodwork and bounce out.

L.A. Firpo kept applying the pressure and were rewarded with a penalty kick in the 71st minute. Monteagudo intercepted a ball that both substitute defender Daryl Ferguson and Chantel failed to clear and was goal-bound until Devlin Barnes brought him down. The referee saw no other alternative but to award the Salvadorian with a penalty kick and Calderon cooly stepped up to slot the ball in the back of the net to make it 2-0 to L.A. Firpo.

The Monarchs tried to salvage a goal late in the game when midfielder Dennis Alas’s 35 yard shot was parried by substitute goal keeper Guillermo Pino but by then it was too late.

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