SAFC Loses Lead Late-Ties Orange County 1-1

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Early second half action taken from the third level at Toyota Field

San Antonio-Despite having lost only one game in twenty matches this season, San Antonio FC (SAFC) has had a difficult time holding leads.  At Toyota Field on Saturday night, for the third consecutive home match, SAFC conceded a late goal and ended up drawing with Orange County SC (OCSC) 1-1.

Saturday night’s breakdown occurred in the 4th minute of Added Extra Time when SAFC midfielder Michael Reed fouled Orange County’s Gustavo Villalobos in the penalty area.  Shortly thereafter, half-time substitute Jerry Van Ewijk converted the penalty and SAFC was left to rue the dropped points yet again.  The locals have not lost at home, yet have frustratingly drawn 6 of the 12 matches played at Toyota Field this season.

SAFC had taken an early lead when midfielder Kris Tyrpak got on the end of a Greg Cochrane cross to beat OCSC goalkeeper Charlie Lyon at the far post to score his fifth of the season.  This goal was the fastest goal in SAFC history, coming officially at 1:34 into the match.

In post-game comments, San Antonio head coach Darren Powell addressed the unfortunate late goal.  “Tonight, in moments we had some really good spouts of play, good passages of play and great chances on goal. Obviously, we got the early goal, but then we were unable to press on and get the second one. That’s the case in the game of soccer when you’re playing a well-coached team that get a chance at the end in the winding moments of the game.”

The frustration he expressed came from the inability of San Antonio FC, despite multiple chances, to score the second goal after taking the early lead.  In the 17th minute, SAFC’s leading scorer Billy Forbes hit the near post with his shot, after an excellent pass from forward AJ Ajeekwa put him one-on-one with the goalkeeper.  In the 62nd minute Rafa Castillo, taking advantage of momentary disruption caused by multiple substitutions, created space and hit a long-range shot that crashed off the crossbar.  Finally, SAFC had four good chances during an attacking sequence in the 70th minute, including a ball that defender Sebastian Ibeagha skimmed off the top of the crossbar from a corner kick.

OCSC pressed late in the match and had excellent opportunities of its own, the most dangerous coming when midfielder Dusan Stevanovic found space 15 yards from goal and blasted a shot just over the SAFC goal.  The OCSC effort was rewarded when the late penalty was called, even if the 6,725 in attendance loudly expressed their collective opinion that it never should have been called in the first place.

San Antonio (11-1-8-41 points) remains in second place in the United Soccer League’s Western Conference, though did pick up a point on first place Real Monarchs SLC (15-3-3-48 points), losers Saturday night in Oklahoma City.

San Antonio FC will next play on Saturday, August 12 when it makes the first ever visit to Nevada to play Reno 1868 FC.

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