On a play that began on a corner kick, L.A.’s Jesus Vazquez (falling, in white) scored in the 71st minute on a header after SD Loyal goalkeeper Joe Kempin kept several balls out. Photo by Chris Stone

San Diego Loyal SC allowed a 71st-minute goal to Jesus Vasquez in a 1-0 loss to LA Galaxy II Sunday evening in their first game at Torero Stadium at the University of San Diego in more than four months.

Jorge Hernandez sent a cross to Augustine Williams, who headed the ball to Vasquez, who put a header from 4 yards out past SD Loyal goalkeeper Jon Kempin for his first goal in two appearances this season.

In its first loss of the season, SD Loyal was outshot 18-8 and trailed 8-1 in shots on goal against the team nicknamed “Los Dos” (2-1-0), the reserves squad of the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer.

Francis Atuahene appeared to score for SD Loyal (2-1-1) on a rebound in the fourth minute but was ruled to be offside. But nobody booed, since the stands were empty amid COVID constraints.

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Kempin made seven saves, including stopping two left-footed shots by Hernandez early in the first half and a header by Vasquez in the second half.

“We were fortunately, honestly, that Jon Kempin played so well,” Loyal coach Landon Donovan said of the goalkeeper who shut out Real Monarchs SLC July 11.

“He kept us in the match, but sometimes you have a bad night and you find a way to score. That would have helped us a lot. We did create some good chances but not enough to impact the game.”

Like most sporting events around the world, fans were barred from attending the USL Championship Division II men’s soccer game under public health directives prohibiting public events and gatherings because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In their other regular-season game at Torero Stadium, SD Loyal drew a capacity crowd announced at 6,100 for their 1-1 tie with the Las Vegas Lights March 7.

SD Loyal again hosts Las Vegas this coming Saturday.

As a ball bounces off the head of Galaxy’s Ivan Gutierrez, sweat is sprayed into the air. Photo by Chris Stone

— City News Service

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