San Antonio FC (8-6-9) defeated Reno 1868 FC (13-5-6) behind a first half brace from Midfielder Cristian Parano as they secured a 4-1 victory over the second place team in the West on Saturday night. The win marked a season sweep for SAFC over Reno, adding to a 3-2 victory at home back in June. It was SAFC's first win in Reno in team history.
Lopez and Barmby scored second half goals for SAFC in the dominant victory while Pecka and Walter Restrepo each added two assists. Restrepo now leads SAFC with four assists in 2019. Sam Gleadle scored for Reno in the loss.
For a team that was miserable on the road in the first half of the season, SAFC has suddenly gone three straight games unbeaten away from home, including two wins.
San Antonio came out on the front foot as Reno didn't even register their first shot until 15 minutes into the match. By then, Parano had opened his account for SAFC in the 12'. He fired home a goal after a nifty back heel pass from Midfielder Walter Restrepo played him into open space.
In the 27' SAFC had a fortunate moment when a shot by Reno's Corey Hertzog was saved by SAFC Keeper Matt Cardone. The rebound landed at the feet of Reno's Duke Lacroix but the ball bounced off him and directly into the arms of Cardone, still sprawled out on the turf. It was a big moment for the black and silver in the early stages of the match.
SAFC Forward Bradford Jamieson IV had to be stretchered off the field in the 34' when he took a shot in space and immediately went to ground in pain. After just getting Defender Moises Hernandez back after a 3 month injury absence, SAFC sends a fifth player to the injury list once more.
Parano would add his second goal just before the break in the 44' again showcasing his speed in the Midfield and his skill with his left foot. It marked the fourth goal in eight games for Parano who is really hitting his stride in the second half of the season.
In the Second half, Reno Midfielder Eric Calvillo picked up his second yellow card of the match in the 50'. That resulted in a red card and forced Reno to finish the match with only ten men.
After that, the flood gates opened for SAFC. Lopez and Barmby scored one minute apart to push the lead to 4-0 with 30 minutes to play, allowing SAFC to cruise to victory. The win puts SAFC in playoff position for the first time since March.
Next up for San Antonio FC is a home match against Texas rivals RGV FC on Saturday night. It will be the final Copa Tejas match of the season for SAFC as they wrap up the Texas portion of their schedule for 2019. SAFC needs a win next week to keep their trophy hopes alive in the regional competition.
PHOTOS: DARREN ABATE/ INSTAGRAM: @PEAKACTION
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