Final Word: SAFC fail to close out RGV, drop two goal lead.

“Certain games when you draw feel like a win, certain games when you draw feel like a loss. Bottom line is you get a point” Darren Powell.

In a match where San Antonio FC dominated much of the match and was up one man over Rio Grande Valley FC, SAFC dropped a two goal lead as RGVFC Toros battled back to a 2-2 draw. The result was disappointing to many but SAFC has played well over the past recent weeks and Darren Powell is confident this was a temporary setback and the club is trending in the right direction.

Phoenix Rising FC, a club currently on a 14 match winning streak and dominating the USL Western Conference is very well aware that San Antonio FC is coming up on the schedule and called SAFC a dangerous team to play against.

What Went Right

The club was aggressive much of the night, playing in RGV’s end for most of the match and owned almost 63 percent of possession.

Jack Barmby remains hot scoring in his third straight match, now has seven on the season.

Cristian Parano just past his 20th birthday scores a wonder goal with the outside part of his left foot that beautifully floated over an outstretched Corti. His third goal in two weeks and has been consistent since June scoring his fifth goal. Since Parano’s first goal of the season, SAFC has only lost twice during that time.

With the draw on Saturday night, San Antonio has only lost twice in the last eleven going with 5 wins, 2 losses and 4 draws.

Michael Lahoud make an outstanding goal saving tackle early in the match and shut down RGV most of the match.

Moises Hernandez, a late addition to the starting XI, played 63 solid minutes at Center Mid. As a precaution, Hernandez replaced Pecka who appeared to be a little nicked up during the pregame warm-up and not quite ready to play. Hernandez suited up and played well adding an assist.

Mission City Firm, Crocketteers, RGV’s Stampede and many in the stadium joined in the 22nd minute to light the flashlights on their cellphones in remembrance of the 22 lives lost in the tragedy of El Paso two weeks ago. They joined El Paso, Sacramento and Austin during “Minute 22”.

What Went Wrong

Referee in charge Sergii Demianchuk made a strange call that confused many, if not all, in the stadium. A challenge that was foul on Frank Lopez, but wasn’t then whistled back after Demianchuk pointed to play on. Demianchuk proceeded to red card Frank Lopez in a even more confusing turn of events. After a brief conversation with the Assistant Ref, Demianchuk sent off RGV’s Fuenmayor on a straight red. While it was foul, most would say it merit a yellow at most. Officiating continues to be a frustration in the USL and needs to be addressed for improvement.

Michael Lahoud failed to mark his man, Carlos Small, on a set piece. A corner kick converted by the ever dangerous Small, put RGV right back in the game still a man down. “I raise my hand on that one, it was my man” said Lahoud in the post match press conference. Lahoud recognizes that defending set pieces is something the team will work on.

A very unlucky own goal by Ackon on a very good tackle, Ackon did everything well tracking down the RGV attacker and making a precise sliding tackle to avoid the foul, but the ball somehow trickled its way to the far right post catching Cardone off guard with the redirection. With that, the final result was 2-2

Some supporters were not pleased with SAFC going straight into the locker room post match instead of what has become a traditional lap to thank the fans before heading in. Win, lose or draw the supporters felt they gave their all and wanted to show the guys love.

Final Thoughts

San Antonio FC should have 3 points out of this last one. They played well enough to win, but one bad and one unfortunate play negated the three points to a draw. The USL playoff race may came come down to one or two plays being the difference if you move on or staying home for the playoffs. SAFC is sitting in 12th place in a still congested USL Western Conference playoff race. Only one point out of the final playoff spot and five points from fourth place. SAFC have 10 matches to left in the season to make ground but time is starting to run out. Up next is New Mexico United at home.


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