San Antonio FC (8-3-1, 27 points) lost for the first time in the 2020 season dropping a 2-1 decision to El Paso Locomotive (6-3-2, 21 points) at Southwest University Park on Saturday night. SAFC were the last unbeaten team in USL Championship prior to the defeat and the loss ends the second longest unbeaten run by the club in their five year history. It was the first time SAFC has ever lost to El Paso in three total meetings.
San Antonio FC remain in First Place in Group D, leading FC Tulsa by 11 points with only four games to play. They can clinch Group D and a playoff spot with one win.
It was a tight first half until SAFC Defender Callum Montgomery struck El Paso's Aaron Gomez in the face with an elbow in the box on a set piece in the 40th minute, earning El Paso a penalty. Gomez scored his penalty kick and El Paso had a 1-0 lead in the 40th minute. Montgomery is on loan to SAFC from FC Dallas in MLS.
It was a short lived lead as SAFC earned a penalty at the other end just two minutes later. That set up SAFC's leading goal scorer Luis Solignac to score his second penalty kick of the season and his team leading 7th goal overall in 2020. Solignac is tied for 6th place in Goals scored across the entire league. That left the match even at 1-1 after the first 45 minutes of play.
The second half saw the SAFC debut of their newest player, 19 year old Forward Jordan Perruzza on loan from Toronto FC in MLS. He played the final 30 minutes of the match and had a rough debut. He earned one Yellow Card and arguably could have been sent off with a second Yellow Card, but he was spared by the Referee after a bad foul. He had two shots in the match.
El Paso dominated second half possession and put heavy pressure on the SAFC Defense and Keeper Matt Cardone several times, but the group stood tall to the challenge for over 90 minutes. El Paso held the final edge in Possession (60-40), Shots (14-10), Shots Inside The Box (8-7) and Corners (7-2) but couldn't get the breakthrough to win the game until the final moments.
That's when El Paso was gifted an own-goal from SAFC Defender Mitchell Taintor off an El Paso set piece. The ball dribbled into the corner of the net past Cardone's outstretched arms and with it went SAFC's unbeaten streak and three points. Taintor had just received a Yellow Card for a strong challenge moments before the winner and was perhaps fortunate (or unfortunate) to still be on the pitch at all.
So it goes. 2-1 El Paso. Unbeaten streak over.
Next up for San Antonio FC is their final home stand of the regular season. They'll play two games in four days beginning with a match against Austin Bold FC on Wednesday night. Kickoff is at 8pm at Toyota Field.
El Paso: 1-0, Aaron Gomez (penalty) 40’
SAFC: 1-1, Luis Solignac (penalty) 45’
El Paso: 2-1, Own Goal (Mitch Taintor) 90’
SAFC: Yellow Card (Callum Montgomery) 38’
El Paso: Yellow Card (Andrew Fox) 43’
SAFC: Yellow Card (Alen Marcina) 52’
SAFC: Yellow Card (PC) 69’
SAFC: Yellow Card (Jordan Perruzza) 83’
El Paso: Yellow Card (Omar Salgado) 84’
SAFC: Yellow Card (Mitchell Taintor) 90’
El Paso: Yellow Card (Macca King) 90’
IMAGES: SAN ANTONIO FC TWITTER
PHOTOS: DARREN ABATE, INSTAGRAM: @PEAKACTION