The American Folarin Balogun isn’t off to the best of starts with AS Monaco and two penalty executions in Friday’s match against Nice have sent the USMNT No. 9 into the gutter.
Folarin Balogun misses TWO penalties vs. OGC Nice in the same match
AS Monaco hosted OGC Nice in Matchday 6 of the Ligue 1 in what was a direct battle between two of the front-runners in the league table. Monaco, who were league leaders with 11 points, wanted a victory to increase their lead to a momentary point gap of four points over Brest.
The game was off to a quick start after Monaco were awarded a penalty kick in the 10th minute. Balogun, who made his first start for the club so far in the season, was the one in charge of hitting the back of the net for the Rouges et blancs. Though, without much luck.
A low strike by the USMNT forward to the left of goal was too easy for opposing goalkeeper Marcin Bulka and the match remained scoreless after the first clear opportunity from the home side.
All was level after the end of the first 45 and up until the 54th minute of the second half when Monaco were awarded yet another penalty kick. Despite the failed first attempt, Balogun was trusted for the second time in the match to put the ball away from the penalty spot. His luck didn’t change much.
A conviction-lacking kick from Balogun struck straight at the keeper recorded the American’s second penalty miss of the night and confirmed his bad form since signing for the club for $35 million last August.
You have to feel for the 22-year-old.
His two misses from the spot kept the game level into the closing minutes and into what seemed like a division of points between both teams after the final whistle.
However, a quick breakaway from OGC Nice in the 90th minute left former Chelsea man Jeremie Boga clear into the box and in a comfortable enough position to curl a shot into the net to give the away side the last-minute victory — deepening the sorrow of the two failed penalty attempts from Balogun earlier in the match.
This was Monaco’s first loss of the season, relegating them to second place in the league standings, with the possibility of dropping to fourth place at the end of the match day.
Balogun has played only three of the six matches for Monaco in the 2023-24 league season, totaling just 108 minutes with his new club.
He’s managed to score for both club and country so far in the season, though, an apparent fallout with USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter in the previous international break following with his catastrophic first start for Monaco, only adds onto what seems like a lackluster start to his new campaign.