San Antonio FC (4-4-7) earned their first road point of the season on Saturday night as they tied OKC Energy FC (5-7-4) by a final score of 1-1 thanks to a Jack Barmby free kick goal in second half added time. Energy FC got their score thanks to a Penalty Kick goal from Rafael Garcia in the 55' - Energy's second PK of the match.
It was the 7th time in 9 total league matches that these two teams have tied.
In the 54' SAFC Midfielder Michael LaHoud would commit a foul for the second OKC penalty in the game. It was a questionable call at best, but one that Referee Lorant Varga made nonetheless. SAFC's Keeper Matt Cardone had made one penalty save already in the match in the first half, but could not make it 2 for 2 on Garcia's try. That sequence left OKC ahead 1-0.
In second half added time, SAFC Midfielder Jack Barmby delivered a sensational free kick from distance into the lower right corner of the net to beat OKC's Keeper Cody Laurendi and earn the point for San Antonio FC in dramatic fashion. It was Barmby's 4th league goal of the season and his first in league play since April.
Manager Darren Powell was pleased after the match, saying "I thought the team played well tonight and I thought we deserved to get at least a point and maybe a little bit more against a well coached team in Oklahoma City.”
Said Barmby of the goal, "At that point in the game, you have nothing to lose. I learned from my mistake earlier in the game where I didn't quite get my body over it and the second one I did, so it was nice that it went in."
San Antonio had a great look at goal early on in the 8' when Barmby tested Laurendi high and to his right with a shot that Barmby hit in stride on a breakaway. But the best keeper in USL Championship was up to task making the early acrobatic save. However the chance would be some foreshadowing to the dramatic second half ending later on.
Matt Cardone would get an early save of his own on his former teammate Omar Gordon in the 11'. The former SAFC man took a shot from a tough angle out wide in San Antonio's area but Cardone had it well covered.
Cardone would come up huge again just a few minutes later when SAFC Defender Kai Greene committed a foul in the box on OKC's Atiba Harris for an early OKC penalty. OKC Foward Deshorn Brown, who is one of the best scorers in all of USL Championship, took the PK in the 16' but Cardone would make the save on the ground and to his right as the shot was not hit with power.
It was Cardone's 5th penalty save of his career with SAFC and his first since 2016. A gigantic play early in the match, and one that would figure heavily into the final outcome.
One of last week's heroes for San Antonio, Midfielder Ethan Bryant, would take a shot with scorching pace in the 43' that was just wide of the OKC net. Guzman would have a similar look in front of the net late in first half added time that was saved by Laurendi's fingertip, pushing the shot just over the OKC bar. Despite those two excellent chances, it was all deadlocked at 0-0 after the opening forty five minutes.
Bryant would open the second half with another terrific shot on goal in the 50'. Once again he was denied by Laurendi. Gallegos would enter the match in the second half but the two SAFC Academy products would not be able to duplicate last weeks' second half heroics.
Luckily for San Antonio FC, this week they had Jack Barmby.
Next up for San Antonio FC is another road match. They'll be away to Fresno on Friday night.
OKC: 1-0, Rafael Garcia (penalty) 55’
SAFC: 1-1, Jack Barmby 90’
OKC: Yellow Card (Mike da Fonte) 85’
PHOTOS: DARREN ABATE / INSTAGRAM @PEAKACTION
IMAGES: SAN ANTONIO FC TWITTER