San Antonio FC (10-3-2, 33 points) lost for only the second time all season as they dropped a 1-0 decision to FC Tulsa (4-7-2, 19 points) on Saturday night at ONEOK Field. The result is damaging to SAFC's hopes to earn the top seed in the Western Conference Playoffs as it opens the door for Reno 1868 to take the pole position. It was big for FC Tulsa as they continue to chase a playoff spot. Eric Bird scored the match winner for FC Tulsa in second half added time.
San Antonio FC and FC Tulsa finish their season series with each team earning one win and one draw in three games.
Both Goal Keepers were busy in the first half. Matt Cardone had a highlight reel save on Tulsa's Dario Suarez in the 16th minute. Not to be outdone, Tulsa's Sean Lewis made a point blank save on SAFC''s Jordan Perruzza in the 22nd minute. There's a good chance fans will see both saves on the League's Save of the Week Highlight Reel at the end of the weekend. Cardone would stifle Suarez again in the 40th minute on an opportunity in the box as both Keepers dominated the opening 45 minutes.
Tulsa dominated the ball in the opening half holding 64% of the Possession and out shooting SAFC 12-8.
In the second half FC Tulsa would earn three consecutive yellow cards for bad fouls over a quick 4-minute span before play would settle down again. Tulsa's Ariel Martinez had the first strong chance in the 65th minute when he had a great look on frame from the top center of the box but he hit his power shot just high, clearing the bar with no further harm done.
The two newest signings for SAFC both made the match day 18-man lineup in this game. Midfielder Ethan Bryant, who is back for his second stint with SAFC, and Defender Liam Doyle who arrived by way of Memphis. Bryant entered the match in the 71st minute, marking his first appearance for SAFC in League play since July 3, 2019.
Blake Smith had the best chance for SAFC in the second half in the 88th minute but he didn't have a good angle on his shot from wide of the net. One minute later FC Tulsa had a golden chance to win the game but Martinez held his shot and the SAFC Defense recovered. That was swiftly followed by an Uzo shot that hit the crossbar. Next, it was another Tulsa shot on a separate sequence that deflected off two SAFC Defenders.
FC Tulsa applied all the heavy late pressure and it finally paid off. Shortly thereafter came Eric Bird's late goal-scoring heroics for the home team.
Next up for San Antonio FC is the regular season finale when they travel to play Austin Bold FC on Sunday October 4th. The Playoffs begin the weekend of October 8th-11th.
IMAGES: SAN ANTONIO FC TWITTER
PHOTOS: DARREN ABATE, INSTAGRAM: @PEACKACTION