After four long months and one additional postponement, San Antonio FC (1-1-0, 4 points) finally got their 2020 season back underway on Sunday night in the Valley against familiar Texas rivals RGV-FC (0-1-2, 1 point). SAFC was moments away from victory thanks to a Cristian Parano goal in the 3rd minute when RGV's Taiberson Nunes leveled the match with a sensational strike from distance 4 minutes into added time. The game ended 1-1. With the tie San Antonio FC are level on points at the top of the Group D standings along with OKC Energy despite having played one fewer match, but they'll be lamenting the 2 points that slipped away in added time.
It was the 8th goal for Parano with SAFC and his first of 2020. Parano also had 100% passing accuracy on the night (22 for 22). Forward Luis Solignac, a SAFC newcomer in 2020, picked up an Assist in his second straight game on the season. SAFC defender Hunter Gorskie and goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair made their SAFC debuts in the match.
The match was originally scheduled for Friday night but was postponed after an RGV-FC player tested positive for the Covid-19 Virus. That postponement was short lived as the game was quickly rescheduled for Sunday night, although no fans were permitted in the stadium. There were six lineup changes for SAFC from their match in March. Not a shock given player movement and healed injuries over the previous four months. Parano was one of those changes as he was injured and unavailable back in March. Most surprising in the lineup had to be loanee Dayne St. Clair from MLS' Minnesota United getting the start in Goal ahead of long time incumbent Matt Cardone. St Clair did well for most of the night but couldn't come up with the save he needed to secure the win.
SAFC dominated the shots in the first half 6-2 but couldn't generate another goal. RGV-FC had their best chance of the first half when Nunes hit the post in the 29th minute, a preview of what was to come in the second half.
RGV-FC would rattle the post a second time when second half substitute Isidro Martinez hit the post off a free kick deep in SAFC's end in the 57th minute. RGV-FC turned up the pressure in the second half overall, controlling more possession and generating several good chances, including a flurry of opportunities in added time that lead to two SAFC clearances off the line. But it wasn't enough to stop Taiberson's last minute heroics and earn the point for RGV-FC.
San Antonio has only defeated RGV-FC 3 times out of 13 total meetings. For SAFC they will hope that this is not a continuation of road woes that plagued them all throughout the 2019 season.
Next up for San Antonio FC is a rematch against this same RGV-FC team, this time back home at Toyota Field on Saturday night. Fans will not be permitted at the match due to an ongoing abundance of caution surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.
SAFC: 1-0, Cristian Parano (Luis Solignac assist) 3’
RGVFC: 1-1, Taiberson (Deshane Beckford assist) 90’
RGVFC: Yellow Card (Émile Legault) 61’
SAFC: Yellow Card (PC) 73’
RGVFC: Yellow Card (Deshane Beckford) 78’
SAFC: Yellow Card (Mitchell Taintor) 90’
SAFC: Yellow Card (Gonzalo Di Renzo) 90’
IMAGES: SAN ANTONIO FC TWITTER
PHOTOS: DARREN ABATE, INSTAGRAM: @PEAKACTION