Monterey Bay FC shut out Memphis 901 FC 1-0 thanks to a stellar defensive effort.
Memphis played their second home game of the week Saturday night against Monterey Bay FC, who entered the contest fighting for a playoff spot, sitting in 9th place in the USL Championship’s western conference.
In typical fashion, 901 FC started the game in full control of possession, getting three shots on goal in the first half hour. In the 19th minute, Luiz Fernando had a solid one-on-one opportunity saved by Monterey keeper Carlos Herrera. In the 23rd minute, Memphis had another great chance with a header by Rodrigo Da Costa saved by Herrera.
In the 31st minute, Monterey Bay received the benefit of a controversial handball call in the box, giving striker Alex Dixon a penalty kick. The referee called the handball about 30 seconds after the play, infuriating the Memphis crowd. Despite a good effort from Memphis goalkeeper Drew Romig, Dixon scored his 11th goal of the season, giving Monterey Bay an early 1-0 lead.
Following the questionable handball decision, the match began to get chippy. Two yellow cards were called on 901 FC and several fouls were called on Monterey Bay within ten minutes of the first goal.
In the 42nd minute, Monterey Bay midfielder Sam Gleadle had a great chance with only the goalkeeper in his way but missed wide left. Despite outshooting Monterey Bay 9-3 in the half, 901 FC trailed 1-0 at halftime.
The first action of the second half came in the 48th minute when Luiz Fernando's shot on goal was saved by Carlos Herrera. Just a few minutes later, 901 FC had another chance, but Lucas Turci’s shot was wide.
The Memphis pressure continued in the 56th minute when 901 FC captain Leston Paul missed wide left after a beautifully executed attack.
Memphis manager Stephen Glass brought in two strikers late in an effort to break through Monterey Bay’s back line. Unfortunately, 901 FC could not score the equalizer. Memphis dominated possession in the second half, getting off 12 shots with 3 on goal.
Monterey Bay goalkeeper Carlos Herrera was tremendous, leading the way with 7 saves as Monterey Bay earned their 10th win of the season.
Rashawn Dally for Leston Paul (85’)
Nighte Pickering for Aiden McFadden (85’)
For Monterey Bay, the win gives them 37 points on the year, moving them into the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 6 games remaining.
The loss continues a trend of inconsistency in the attacking third for 901 FC, as they stand in 5th place in the Eastern Conference. Memphis is at 42 points on the season, one point away from home pitch advantage in the USL playoffs.
The Beale Street Boys will finish off a three-game homestand at AutoZone Park on Saturday, September 16th against Hartford Athletic. The game will kick off at 6:30 p.m. CT.