Swope Park Rangers (SPR)-0 San Antonio FC (SAFC)-1
SPR: NONE SAFC: Mark O’Ojong-53 (Kris Tyrpak)
- SAFC’s impressive depth showed itself again last night as the game winning goal was scored by a recent addition, Mark O’Ojong. O’Ojong was a highly regarded midfielder in Seattle who was not resigned by the Sounders or Sounders 2 at the end of the 2016 season. The Cameroonian International O’Ojong was named 12th best player in the USL under the age of 20 as part of the league’s 20 Under 20 list last year. In the press release announcing his signing, SAFC head coach Darren Powell alluded to the work that had taken place to bring him on board, when he discussed how excited he was to have him finally join the team. Making his first start in San Antonio, he scored on a header against the run of play, off a delicate chipped cross from former Swope Park Ranger, Kris Tyrpak.
- Swope Park certainly had good opportunities to win this game. Diego Restrepo made an excellent save to deny a shot in the 17th minute and Kevin Oliveira had a great chance to score in extra-time, but blasted the ball over the goal. Despite having only 23% of the possession, SAFC was able to counterattack effectively at times and saw Billy Forbes hit the post right after Restrepo’s early save.
- The OPTA statistics from this match were fascinating. They are a clear demonstration of how SAFC has used efficiency in front of the goal and intense team defending to become very difficult to beat. In addition to the 77 to 23% possession advantage, Swope Park made 651 passes with an 86% accuracy. The similar numbers from SAFC were 195 and 56%. The Rangers outshot SAFC 11-4. Swope Park had 13 more crosses (and they were almost twice as accurate) than SAFC. On the other hand, SAFC made its shots count…half of the four shots were on target and three of them came from within the penalty area. SAFC defended doggedly with 17 interceptions and 31 clearances. Finally, SAFC had the goal, which trumps all of these numbers. Next weeks rematch against Swope Park should be fascinating. The frustration SPR must feel could be translated into a different tactical approach on road.
Prior to this match SAFC will travel to Tulsa to play the Roughnecks in a third round U.S. Open Cup match Wednesday night. Another chance to put the superb depth to the test. A SAFC victory in this match will produce a highly anticipated game against FC Dallas in San Antonio during the fourth round.
Below are the last nights game highlights from uslsoccer.com.