With the World Cup occurring in Brazil, there was an international competition at Pan-American Stadium as the New Orleans Jesters played an exhibition match against Monterrey Rayados’s Under-20 squad.
The Jesters defeated Monterrey 2-1 on the fourth penalty kick in sudden death on Sunday as a kick by Monterrey’s Juan Manuel Alvarez sailed wide.
Northshore High School rising senior Larry Newby was the keeper during the penalty kicks, and after the win his teammates piled on him. It was Newby’s second game with the team.
“We won,” he said. “It didn’t go through my brain at first. I sat there for a second. I realized that we won. It was a great feeling at the end. It’s a great feeling to go in there and at least block one. I feel great.”
With the regular season finished, the Jesters (6-2-2) start the playoffs against Atlanta in the NPSL Southeastern Conference final in Chattanooga on Friday. If the Jesters beat Atlanta, they will play the winner of the Chatanooga-Nashville match. The winner of that playoff will go to the Southern Regional final, and New Orleans has a bid in to host.
Much of Sunday’s game was scoreless until the 65:19 mark when Reece Wilson made the first goal inside the box on an assist from Ryan Reid.
The squad from Mexico tied the game at 1-1 at the 72:49 when Carlos Ochoa made a free kick that sailed above the heads of the Jesters’ defenders.
Since the game ended with a tie, it was decided with penalty kicks and went through 10 kicks before being decided on the fourth kick of sudden death.
Last year New Orleans played Monterrey and lost 2-1 in regulation.
“This game I felt we were fully in control,” said New Orleans coach Kenny Farrell. “We played low-pressure defense where we had the ball for the whole first half.”
Farrell said he was pleased with the amount of discipline he saw his team exhibit as it went through 14 penalty kicks to decide the game.
“I was really happy with the way we handled it going into the playoffs next week, because we’re going to need that mount of discipline. We’re going to need that amount of sharpness and focus,” Farrell said. “So, it was a great game going forward for us. Obviously, going to the shootout is something that might happen next week, so I was glad the guys went through it.”