CARSON, CA – San Antonio FC earned an important road point as the fought to a 1-1 draw with LA Galaxy II at the Stubhub Center Track and Field Stadium on Saturday night.
The result was not pretty, but it is a good thing for the Silver and Black as the season draws to a close. SAFC earned a point, trimming their magic number to clinching a playoff berth down. The second is their trend of getting late goals in matches continued, proving crucial after conceding the opening goal in the past two matches.
“Tonight was a tight game between two teams committed to getting the result,” SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell said. “I’m proud that the guys were able to fight and come back to earn a point.”
After a scoreless first half that saw both teams have little chances, things picked up in the second 45 minutes. Los Angeles came out aggressive as Jack McBean put a header wide of the net, just missing the outstretched glove of SAFC goalkeeper Diego Restrepo. Seconds later, Jean Engola converted a corner kick with a header in the 51st minute past Restrepo to put the home side up a goal.
San Antonio struck back in the 88th minute when Michael Reed put home a perfect free kick attempt in the back of the net to draw level as stoppage time approached. SAFC had two more chances to go ahead late, but those attempts just missed the net.
“I saw a very tall wall and thought the keeper was going to cheat on it, honestly,” Reed said. “I was fortunate enough to get a decent hit on the ball before the keeper saw it, and he just froze and made my life easy.”
The victory keeps San Antonio within striking distance of Real Monarchs SLC, who also earned a point in a draw on Saturday. SAFC is just seven points behind the league-leaders for first place in the Western Conference and currently sits third with 49 points. Reno 1868 FC is tied for second with San Antonio with 49 points and they too, drew on Saturday.
“Earning points on the road is tough, and especially during road trips,” Reed said. “It’s good that we didn’t lose and that we earned a point; that gets us closer to the top and the competition for the first four spots is fierce right now. It could’ve been better, but it could’ve also been worse.”
Man of the Match: Michael Reed. The SAFC team captain’s late goal preserved an important road point for San Antonio, as they continue to battle for a playoff berth and a top four seed.
- Match notes: Reed’s goal was his second of the season to go along with two assists. Diego Restrepo made six saves in Saturday’s match, the most by a SAFC keeper in the 2017 season.
Up next: San Antonio FC is now 13-2-10 (49 points) on the season and will return to the pitch next Wednesday when they take on Orange County SC at 9:30 p.m. to continue their four-game road series.