SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio FC picked up a point as they drew 1-1 with Tulsa Roughnecks FC (0-4-6, 6 pts) in front of 7,502 fans at Toyota Field on Saturday night.
The draw extends SAFC’s unbeaten streak to five matches but there was little doubt of how the players and coaches were feeling after the match after giving up another early lead and leaving two points on the field.
“We haven’t lost (in five matches), but if you go in the locker room you’ll find players that are disappointed,” SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell said. “We didn’t lose tonight, but we have a passionate group of players, which is very important, and every time they play and step on the field they have the desire to win.”
San Antonio FC started the match with a strong attacking lineup and it came out swinging. Greg Cochrane tried to find Alex Bruce for a header just five minutes in but it would be denied by Tulsa goalkeeper Fabian Cerda. However, the defender would not miss just two minutes later when he found Omar Gordon for a goal off a cross, putting SAFC up 1-0 in the seventh minute.
SAFC kept the attack going in the 21st minute when Alex Bruce took advantage of a Tulsa turnover, sending a 25-yard shot towards Cerda, who made the save. Despite San Antonio getting the majority of scoring chances, they would only carry the one-goal advantage into the second half.
Tulsa came out much more aggressive on the attack to begin the second half and would capitalize. Joaquin Rivas beat San Antonio goalkeeper Diego Restrepo with a laser of a shot in the 51st minute, leveling the game up at one goal apiece. The majority of the second 45 minutes would see the Roughnecks take a much more aggressive attack and despite some scoring chances from SAFC late, the game would end level.
Here is what went good and bad for San Antonio FC, as well as three standout players: Omar Gordon, Greg Cochrane, and Pecka.
- San Antonio got on the scoreboard first for the third time in the previous four matches. However, this time it was done early just seven minutes into the match. Let’s hope that trend continues for the Red and Black.
- SAFC’s attack looked strong and had several scoring chances. This is possibly a solid lineup for Powell to use going forward with several players moving forward, led by Omar Gordon and Mikey Lopez pushing the ball forward.
- SAFC’s mistakes from the midfielders would lead to Tulsa knotting the score up early in the second half. Rivas and Wyatt Osberg were left without a defender and Rivas easily put the ball into the back of the net.
- Tulsa came out strong in the second half and San Antonio seemed to never truly punch back. SAFC had some chances but the majority of the half belonged to the visitors.
Three Standout Players:
One of the reasons SAFC’s attack was so strong in the first half was due to the play of Omar Gordon. His goal in the 7thminute gave San Antonio the lead but it was his place the remainder of the half that stood out. He was the leader of the attack as he constantly forced the ball into the box and used his stellar footwork to keep the Tulsa defense on edge.
The match marked Gordon’s second consecutive goal in two straight matches and that has made Powell go to him more offensively.
“It’s a great feeling,” Gordon said of his increase in playing time. “To be out there and playing, most of the time you wish you could play the full 90 minutes. But it’s always great to get minutes under your belt.”
Gordon also put three other shots up towards the Tulsa net and was one of the main scoring threats in the opening 45 minutes, playing a key part in SAFC’s lead at halftime.
One of the reasons San Antonio FC controlled the first half so well was due to their defensive efforts and Pecka played a large role in the opening 45 minutes. He was quick to the ball on defense, slowing down the Tulsa attack.
He had a few nifty moves where he showed off his footwork, including faking out a Tulsa midfielder in the second half to open the attack for SAFC. Overall, Pecka had a solid defensive night for San Antonio but sadly it was a poor second half that would be their undoing.
Tulsa had just one shot on target in the first half and much of that is the aggressive play on San Antonio’s side of the ball going both ways. One of the key members of the defense was Greg Cochrane. He stayed on the ball well and forced the Roughnecks attack to stall at different points in the opening 45 minutes.
On the offensive side of things, he played the ball well. In the fifth minute he sent in a cross for an Alex Bruce header but the 18-year-old’s attempt was stopped. He would assist on Gordon’s goal in the 7th minute and throughout the first half had a key role in both sides of the ball. He helped Gordon on the attack and on defense helped Pecka keep the Roughnecks away from Restrepo’s goal.
“We put teams on their back foot and we need to put them away,” Cochrane said. “One goal simply isn’t enough. “If we are more clinical in the attacking third, then we’re up two or three (goals) and it’s a completely different game, so when we have the opportunities to score, we need to do it.”
San Antonio FC is now 3-2-5 (14 points) on the season and will return to the pitch on Wednesday when they take on Colorado Springs FC in the next round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Toyota Field with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.
The club will return to USL play on May 26 when they make a visit to Nevada to play Reno 1868 FC (3-3-5, 14 points) at 9 p.m CT.