ROYAL CITY — The Knights looked a bit sluggish for the first 20 minutes or so in their opening round district match up with Granger... possibly due to the mindset of going against a weaker team you know you can and should beat, or perhaps it was caused by an emotional hangover from senior night coupled with the dominating 8-0 win over Kiona Benton to close out regular season play two days prior.
Whatever the case, Royal was able to clear the cobwebs and dominate the Spartans 9-0 in David Nielsen Memorial Stadium Thursday.
“We looked poor in the first half. Our shape was wrong, our decision making was not there, and our physical play was weak at best,” coach Jens Jensen said. “We went into the break up 2-0, and the second goal was more of a goalkeeper error than a testament to us.”
Freshman Eliseo Romero, off a Michael Rojas assist, got Royal on the board at the 30:20 mark of the contest.
“It was a nice goal from Eliseo,” Jensen said. “Michael created the chance with a perfect ball Eliseo could hit in stride. Eliseo has class above his age and he showed it again on that play.”
Daniel Bonilla curled a shot around the right post and over the outstretched hands of the Spartan keeper with just over six minutes left in the first half to make it 2-0.
Royal opened second half play with resolve scoring three goals in a five minute span to blow the match open, 5-0. The first score by Miguel Torres (Rojas) came at 53:57. Lizandro Hernandez (Torres) found the back of the Granger box a minute later, followed up by Romero’s (Rojas) second goal of the night, and his fourth in the last two matches, at 59:01.
The Knights reeled off four more goals over the last 19 minutes of the contest coming off the feet of Torres, Martin Hernandez (Isidro Torres), Jovani Aquino (Lizandro Hernandez) and Luis Gaitan (Miguel Torres) to win in a cakewalk.
Royal outshot Granger 30-7. It was the 10th win in a row for the Knights and the 12th match keeper Ty Miller has refused to yield a point to the competition.
Royal matched up with Highland at home in second round action Tuesday, but the match was ongoing at time of press.
Look for the results on The Sun Tribune Facebook page Wednesday.