SAN ANTONIO – SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell knew his club needed a win. And returning home provided the perfect antidote.
After losing two straight on the road, San Antonio FC returned home and defeated Las Vegas Lights FC (1-3-1) 2-1 at Toyota Field on Saturday night to earn their first win of the 2019 USL Championship season.
The victory saw SAFC collect their first clean sheet of the season and snap a three-match losing skid that saw them go 0-3-1 through the first four matches of the season.
“Everyone worked hard all week and made the coaching staff face some tough decisions,” Powell said. “As a staff we have to make decisions based on performances in games and in training, and this week they made those selections very difficult, and we have to keep working like that.”
SAFC controlled the ball for most of the opening 15 minutes and they were rewarded. Bradford Jamieson picked off a Las Vegas back pass and beat Vegas goalkeeper Thomas Olsen to put the home side up a goal early. San Antonio would carry the one-goal lead into the second half.
In the second 45 minutes, SAFC goalkeeper Matt Cardone came up big time and time again. Cardone made a massive stop in the 64th minute as Las Vegas looked to capitalize on a shot in the box to keep his team ahead.
San Antonio would not be able to secure the clean sheet on this night as Irvin Parra converted a penalty shot in stoppage time for the Vegas goal.
Here is what went good and bad for SAFC as well as three standout players for SAFC: Ever Guzman, Bradford Jamieson IV, and Matt Cardone.
- SAFC finally into the win column this season, snapping their three-game losing streak.
- In their last three matches including Saturday’s win, SAFC is allowing 1.5 goals per match after allowing six total in their first two matches of the season.
- San Antonio’s offense finally returned after getting shutout the last two outings.
- Leeroy Magurauche went down with an injury after an awkward landing with no contact. You hate to see injuries and especially since it looks like he could possibly be out a while.
- As good as SAFC’s defense has gotten over the past few weeks, they still have yet to record a shutout. They came close until Vegas’ penalty shot goal in stoppage time.
Three Standout Players:
The Mexican striker put the game away in the 83rd minute as he put home a feed from Jack Barmby to put SAFC up 2-0. The goal was the second of the season for Guzman, who added to his all-time total with the club.
The tally was Guzman’s 17th goal in an SAFC kit, making him the franchise leader in that category.
Bradford Jamieson IV
The forward netted his first goal in an SAFC kit on Saturday night and it came off a solid defensive play. Jamieson picked off a Las Vegas back pass and deposited the ball into the net for his first goal of the season. His goal gave SAFC their first marker since their 1-3 loss to Portland three weeks ago.
“The first win re-boosts all of our confidence and focus, and it reassures us that we all have what it takes to do it on a regular basis,” Jamieson said. “Sometimes you have to prove that to yourself so it was a big match for us.”
The bearded one may have missed out on his first clean sheet of the season but he came up with big saves countless times in the second half. The solid outing comes after he hit the bench in the 0-1 loss to Austin last weekend.
Cardone finished the night with three saves.
“We had some good runs of play over the past few games, and we finally got over the hump today, so hopefully this is the first of many wins,” Cardone said.
San Antonio FC is now 1-3-1 (4 points) on the season and will return to the pitch next Saturday when they welcome LA Galaxy II (3-2-0) to Toyota Field at 7:30 pm Central Time.