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Eldin Jakupovic helps LAFC avoid U.S. Open Cup upset against Monterey Bay

SEASIDE — On a night when there were eight teenagers in the starting lineup for the Los Angeles Football Club, a 38-year-old goalkeeper was the hero.

Eldin Jakupovic buried a kick from the spot and made two saves in a 5-4 penalty shootout victory as LAFC avoided an upset against second-year USL club Monterey Bay FC on Tuesday night at Cardinale Stadium.

The teams were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation and 2-2 after 30 minutes of extra time, before Jakupovic took center stage.

Jakupovic, signed in the offseason from English Premier League club Everton, helped LAFC’s youthful roster overcome some growing pains in its 2023 U.S. Open Cup opener.

Nineteen-year-old Christian Torres scored in the 25th minute for LAFC and that goal nearly held up as the winner, but Monterey Bay’s 35-year-old Simon Dawkins delivered an equalizer for the hosts in the 90th minute to extend the match.

Jesse Maldonado scored in the 94th minute to put Monterey Bay ahead, but 18-year-old Matheus Maia broke through in the 105th minute for LAFC to tie the score again.

Both teams made their first two PKs, Maia and Nathan Ordaz converting for LAFC and Christian Volesky and Dawkins doing so for Monterey Bay.

LAFC’s Danny Crisostomo saw his attempt saved to open the third round, then Kai Greene converted to give Monterey a 3-2 lead.

Bryan Moyado converted for LAFC to open the fourth round, then Jakupovic denied Sean Okoli’s right-footed shot toward the bottom left corner of the goal.

Back even at 3-3, Jakupovic stepped to the spot and buried a right-footed shot into the top left corner. Chase Boone answered for Monterey Bay to force a sixth round.

LAFC’s Diego Rosales converted with a shot to the middle of the goal, then Jakupovic made a diving save to his left to deny Monterey’s Mobi Fehr and clinch the victory.

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19-year-old Christian Torres gets the breakthough for LAFC. pic.twitter.com/ytEGNTBgRi

— CBS Sports Golazo (@CBSSportsGolazo) May 10, 2023

WE HAVE A WILD ONE IN MONTEREY BAY.

The last 15′ of extra-time upcoming and it’s 2-2 in CA. pic.twitter.com/ec2rQMHZOj

— CBS Sports Golazo (@CBSSportsGolazo) May 10, 2023

@LAFC SURVIVE AND ADVANCE OVER @MONTEREYBAYFC ON PENALTIES.

What a game. pic.twitter.com/Yg3J5ilX5a

— CBS Sports Golazo (@CBSSportsGolazo) May 10, 2023

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