San Antonio FC (9-7-11) played a terrific match against league leading Phoenix Rising FC (20-5-2) for 86 minutes. Unfortunately for SAFC, that wasn't long enough. Phoenix would extend their record winning streak to 18 games thanks to a Soloman Asante goal in the 87'. It was the league leading 21st goal for the best player in USL Championship. It was the first time that SAFC has lost back to back matches since June 1st.
Moments before the goal, San Antonio forward Frank Lopez had a one on one chance to give SAFC the first goal of the match but he was denied by Rising FC Keeper Zac Lubin in what turned out to be the defensive play of the match.
For San Antonio, it was a heartbreaking end to a game where they played very well. Especially considering the egg they laid the previous week, losing by 4 goals to the worst team in the league. Still, it wasn't enough as SAFC came up empty on points. Midfielder Jack Barmby didn't like the call that led to the goal.
“I thought the performance was positive,” said SAFC midfielder Jack Barmby. “It was a bounce back from last week. We were very disappointed with the result last week, so we had to turn it around quickly. Football is a weird game. We worked hard for 80-plus minutes tonight, the referee gives a wrong call in my opinion, and we lose the game.”
SAFC peppered the Phoenix end with several chances in the first half including a volley by Midfielder Jack Barmby that struck the post. SAFC kept Lubin very busy as Frank Lopez, Cristian Parano, and Brian Gomez led the way for San Antonio as they out shot Rising FC 10-5 in the opening half.
SAFC Defender Eby Ackon would make a huge one on one stop on Phoenix's Asante after a poor pass from Keeper Matt Cardone sprung the league's best player for a breakaway opportunity. But the San Antonio Defender was up to the task.
Eby Ackon would feature again early in the second half when a Jack Barmby corner kick bounced free to him in open space, but his header was sent just wide of the Phoenix net.
Former SAFC player Jason Johnson would make an appearance for Phoenix in the 69'; his first since April after a lengthy injury. Johnson equalized late in the season opener at Toyota Field to earn a point for Phoenix back in March. Johnson was the first ever goal scorer in SAFC history back in 2016.
Twenty minutes later, Phoenix would get their dramatic match winner, extending their impressive winning streak.
Next week SAFC returns home to take on OKC Energy at Toyota Field on Saturday September 14th.
PHX: 1-0, Solomon Asante 87’
PHX: Yellow Card (Jose Aguinaga) 64’
PHX: Yellow Card (James Musa) 75’
SAFC: Yellow Card (Pecka) 80’
SAFC: Yellow Card (Moises Hernandez) 83’
SAFC Yellow Card (Jack Barmby) 89’
PHX: Yellow Card (Amadou Dia) 90’
PHOTOS: DARREN ABATE / INSTAGRAM: @PEAKACTION
IMAGES: SAN ANTONIO FC TWITTER