Final Word: SAFC and Orange County split points

Toyota Field, San Antonio

San Antonio FC came into this match focused and ready to put last week’s loss behind them. SAFC came out with a formation change, a 4-3-3 as opposed to the last couple weeks where they used only 3 defenders. SAFC has had success at home this season, coming in with a 3-1-1 record at Toyota Field.

SAFC started this one as the aggressors, controlling the match and taking chances to put shots on goal. The first clear chance came in the 7th minute when Billy Forbes made a through pass across the box that found Brian Gomez, who was able to take a shot on goal but OCSC keeper Patrick McLain was able to stop it. That was followed in the 8th minute when Cristian Parano took a shot from the right side of the box to center of goal and McLain made his second save of the match. Lahoud and Yaro also were able to find their way into the attack. Yaro’s header almost found it’s way into the back of the net, but again, McLain was there to clean it up. Matt Cardone also made a spectacular finger tip save early in the match on a ball clearly going in and was candidate for play of the game.

The momentum seemed to shift into OCSC’s favor after the 10th minute until McLain went down with an apparent thigh injury to his left leg. Took a couple of minutes for the medical staff to evaluate and get McLain’s thigh wrapped and back in action. In the 27th minute Kai Greene went down with an injury. Greene had landed hard on his back and head when going for an air ball. Play continued on for a couple of minutes but Green looked shaken and dizzy, with possible symptoms of concussion as he went down to the ground. After evaluation by SAFC’s medical staff, Green appeared to be alright and continued with the match. Greene has played every match and every minute thus far in the 2019 campaign. Both injuries took any momentum and rhythm the match was appearing to take and never really gained it back.

Second half kicked off and much of the same tempo of the first half, neither club cemented their dominance and shots on goal were sparse, majority of the second half was a quagmire in the midfield. SAFC’s lone sub came in the 54th minute as Ever Guzman came in for Jamieson IV. Only 3 shots total were taken by both clubs in the last 10 minutes and ended in nil-nil draw.

Player of the match: Cristian Parano, everyone in the stadium and those who watch the match on TV or online recognized Parano’s hard work on the pitch. The USL heat map on the post match stats showed Parano’s range across the pitch. Parano disrupted the OCSC back line, was able to force a turnover in OCSC’s own defensive third and it almost turned into a score for the home team. Parano’s stat sheet finished with a 81.5 percent passer rating, 16 duels won, 2 chances created, 2 tackles, 1 shot on goal and 5 fouls won.

Parano’s heat map on the USL stats for SAFC v OCSC

By the numbers: SAFC was called offside 6 times, had 21 tackles, 17 fouls and produced 3 yellows. Cardone recorded 3 saves on the night

Up next: US Open Cup time as SAFC faces Laredo Heat SC for the first time ever at Toyota Field on Tuesday May 14th at 7:30 PM. SAFC is 5-3 overall in US Open Cup play.

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