San Antonio FC (SAFC) suffered only its second United Soccer League (USL) regular season loss of the year when it fell 2-0 to Reno 1836 in Nevada last Saturday night.
Reno scored a goal in each half to secure the victory and move to within 5 points of SAFC in what is becoming an increasingly tight playoff race in the Western Conference. Luis Felipe Fernandes scored first in the 25th minute during a sequence of play that began with a corner kick. After SAFC goalkeeper Diego Restrepo made the initial save on the set piece, the defense was unable to clear the ball out of the box and Felipe took advantage to score the opening goal. The second goal came after a bad giveaway by Restrepo in the 70th minute. Restrepo, playing well off his line as he frequently does, attempted to clear the ball, but ended up passing it straight to Reno forward Brian Brown who rounded the goalkeeper and walked in for the easiest goal he may have scored in his life.
SAFC had a chance to get back into the match in the 82nd minute when forward Cesar Elizondo was brought down in the box. Billy Forbes smashed the resulting penalty off the crossbar and this was the last good opportunity of the evening for San Antonio.
After the game, defender Ben Newnam rued the mistakes made by SAFC that led to the goals: “I think we played well in the first half. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot on both goals, we made mistakes and we just need to start putting away our opportunities. If we score first we’re on the front foot and it’s a different game. Now we have to bounce back.”
One interesting side note on the evening was the referee issuing seven yellow cards to SAFC. Home side Reno 1836 had none, despite conceding roughly the same number of fouls as San Antonio.
SAFC (11-2-8, 41 points) remains in second place, but fell further behind conference leaders Real Monarchs SLC who won at home Saturday night. San Antonio FC will return to USL action on Saturday, August 19 as they travel to face Oklahoma City Energy FC for the third matchup between the two sides this season.