San Antonio FC (8-7-9) squandered a two goal lead and a one player advantage on Saturday night, drawing with RGV FC (6-7-11). The game ended 2-2, sending 7,533 stunned SAFC fans home with disappointment.
The result leaves San Antonio FC at the top of the Copa Tejas Table by one point...for now. But with games in hand for all the remaining Texas teams, the outlook is bleak for SAFC to finish the regional tournament with the trophy. All of San Antonio's attention will now be fully on the league, and one week after climbing into playoff position, this result kicked them back out. SAFC are now in 12th and on the outside looking in with ten games to go.
Said Manager Darren Powell after the match, “Certain games when you draw feel like a win, and certain games when you draw feel like a loss. The bottom line is you get a point, and we have to use that point, because every one of them is precious. Did we want three? Absolutely, we want them every week. That doesn’t change and that attitude doesn’t change, and you saw our guys’ attitude didn’t change in the last 10 minutes as they tried to get the three points.”
Things were looking really good for SAFC in the first half. Midfielder Jack Barmby opened the scoring in the 14' minute off an Assist from Moises Hernandez. Hernandez was a late addition to the starting lineup after originally named starter Pecka couldn't go. It was the first assist for Hernandez since April 26th. After a lengthy injury spell, it was the first start for the defender on loan from FC Dallas since May. For Barmby, it was his 7th goal of the season, the most in a SAFC uniform in 2019.
In the 31' RGV FC Defender Alejandro Fuenmayor was sent off with a straight red card for a breakaway challenge on SAFC Forward Frank Lopez, leaving RGV to play with 10 men for the final hour of the match. Initially, SAFC would make them pay.
Parano doubled the lead just before halftime on a sensational flick goal that he chipped perfectly into the lower left corner of the RGV goal, beating Keeper Nicholas Corti. It was the 5th goal in the last 9 matches for the Argentine Midfielder. Things would go downhill from there.
Set pieces have stung SAFC the last few games, and that trend continued again on Saturday night. In the 75' Substitute Carlos Small would head in a goal from an RGV corner kick to cut SAFC's lead in half.
Then, disaster would strike 5 minutes later when SAFC Defender Eby Ackon was charged with an own goal when his defensive challenge sent the ball towards the SAFC net and past Keeper Matt Cardone, rolling across the goal line like a dagger into SAFC's collective hearts. With it went two points.
Said Hernandez after the match, “It’s not easy to get over this. We had the game, we were up 2-0 and were up a man, and things didn’t go as we planned at the end. We have to do better as a group and now we have to look forward to the next game which is a tough one against New Mexico.”
Next up for San Antonio FC is another home match against expansion side New Mexico United next Saturday night.
SAFC: 1-0, Jack Barmby (Moises Hernandez assist) 14’
SAFC: 2-0, Cristian Parano (Walter Restrepo assist) 44’
RGVFC: 2-1, Carlos Small (Isidro Martinez assist) 75’
RGVFC: 2-2, Eby Ackon (own goal) 80’
RGVFC: Red Card (Alejandro Fuenmayor) 30’
RGVFC: Yellow Card (Isidro Martinez) 38’
RGVFC: Yellow Card (Andrew Samuels) 45’
RGVFC: Yellow Card (Robert Castellanos) 51’
SAFC: Yellow Card (Kai Greene) 68’
RGVFC: Yellow Card (Kevin Rodriguez) 87’
SAFC: Yellow Card (Frank Lopez) 88’
RGVFC: Yellow Card (Zachary Jackson) 90’
PHOTOS: DARREN ABATE / INSTAGRAM @PEAKACTION
IMAGES: SAN ANTONIO FC TWITTER