San Antonio FC plays their best when they don’t have the ball…as odd as that may sound. That same formula has seen the club go undefeated 10-games into the 2017 season. And in their toughest matchup of the season so far, it was the right equation once again.
A combination of defense and a goal saw San Antonio FC push their unbeaten streak to 11 games as they earned a 1-0 victory over the Swope Park Rangers inside Swope Soccer Village on Friday night. The win was the fifth straight on the road for San Antonio, tying the longest single-season road winning streak in USL history.
The first half saw Swope Park have possession of the ball early and often. SAFC goalkeeper Diego Restrepo came up with two big saves to keep the home side off the board in the first half as the first 45 minutes ended scoreless.
San Antonio’s counterattack worked its magic early in the second half, leading to the lone goal of the match. Kris Tyrpak found mid-fielder Mark O’Ojong on the wing, who buried his shot past the Swope Park goalkeeper in the 53rd minute to put SAFC up 1-0.
The Rangers would threaten to score late in the match, but San Antonio’s defense would keep the home side off the scoreboard, ending Swope Parks nine-game home win streak.
Restrepo earned his fifth consecutive shutout and has not conceded a goal since April 22. As a club, SAFC has only conceded four goals in 11 matches played.
“All 11 players have to defend well, and collective defending and sticking to the task was very important tonight,” SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell said. “We were able to frustrate them at times and we were able to get into the right areas when we needed to. We work on collective defending a lot and I’m proud of tonight’s game.”
Player of the Match: Diego Restrepo is RB90’s POTM. His key saves early and late in the match combined with SAFC’s defense got San Antonio 3 points.
Up next: San Antonio FC is now 9-0-2 (29 points) on the season and will return to the pitch next Saturday when they welcome Swope Park to Toyota Field at 7:30 p.m. to complete the home-and-home series.