SAN ANTONIO – The sport of soccer can be cruel and SAFC felt the cruelty the sport sometimes brings.
It was a tale of two halves for San Antonio FC but it would be the second 45 that would have dire results for the hometown club.
San Antonio FC suffered a 0-3 defeat to Orange County SC (4-1-1, 13 points) in front of 6,090 fans at Toyota Field on Saturday night.
Despite a scoreless first half, SAFC played their best 45 minutes of the young season so far. Kris Tyrpak had a chance to put the home side on top but Orange County goalkeeper Andre Rawls made a fingertip save to keep it out of the net. Later in the half, San Antonio’s attack saw Ever Guzman, Greg Cochrane, and Sonny Gradarrama all back but Guzman slipped as he received the ball, blowing the play dead.
“We felt the team was very assertive on the front foot tonight,” SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell said. “We created chances and hit the crossbar and the post, and their keeper made some great saves. We didn’t capitalize on our chances, which is more than we’ve created all season, so everybody in our locker room is bitterly disappointed.”
Despite the first half belonging to San Antonio, it was the visitors who would break through on the scoring column. Orange County midfielder Koji Hashimoto drilled home a free kick from 25-yards out that SAFC goalkeeper Diego Restrepo had no chance to save, making it a 0-1 deficit for SAFC in the 48thminute.
SAFC’s tried to answer back in the 52nd minute when Rafa Castillo found Kris Tyrpak but OC goalkeeper Andre Rawls made the save and a second San Antonio attempt went off the crossbar. The visitors would score two goals in two minutes to seal the win as Thomas Enevoldsen and Giovanni Godoy found the back of the net in the 84th and 86th minute respectively to seal the win.
Here is what went good and bad for SAFC on Saturday as well as three standout players: Ever Guzman, Ryan Roushandel, and Cesar Elizondo.
- San Antonio FC played their best half of the season in the opening 45 as they were aggressive on the offensive side of the ball. SAFC put up a season-high 17 shots, with eight of those being on goal.
- Ever Guzman seems to finally get back into form despite not getting on the scoresheet. He had two shots go wide of the net, including one hitting the woodwork. SAFC seems they will be in a good place offensively once Guzman gets going.
- Diego Restrepo had zero saves in the first half, much of that is credited to SAFC’s defense, not allowing OC to set up their offense.
- Despite the loss, San Antonio’s play was at its peak on Saturday and can only go up from there.
- As good as the first half was for San Antonio, the second 45 was the exact opposite. SAFC struggled to control the ball and gave up an early goal. Through four of five matches played, San Antonio has not scored the first goal of the game.
- Diego Restrepo’s aggressiveness finally caught up with him as he came out to play the ball, Orange County had a wide open net and converted.
Three Standout Players:
Despite not getting on the score sheet yet in 2018, Ever Guzman is knocking on the door. That has to be a good sign for SAFC and Coach Powell. It was just a bit of bad bounces that prevented Guzman from netting his first goal of the year.
Trailing 0-1, San Antonio was pushing a 3-on-1 attack with Ever Guzman, Greg Cochrane, and Sonny Gradarrama all back but Guzman slipped as he received the ball. Later on, in the half, Guzman’s shot went off the bar. Last week he assisted on Pecka’s goal and this week he was inches from getting one himself. Patience SAFC fans. Ever’s time is nearly there.
SAFC’s team captain had a solid night on both sides of the ball himself, proving why he earned the armband this season. On the offensive side, he had a chance to get his club on the scoreboard just before halftime but Rawls tipped the ball over the crossbar.
On the defensive side, he did a nice job keep Orange County out of San Antonio side of the field. He cleared the ball, prevented OC from attacking early and overall had a nice all-around match. Sadly, the final result did not reflect that.
Cesar Elizondo returned to the pitch for the first time in 2018. That enough is good news but he came in as a second-half sub along with Connor Presley. The fact that San Antonio’s injury report is thining out is good too.
However, Powell putting him in late with SAFC searching for a goal shows just how valuable he is scoring wise. It might be just a matter of time before Guzman, Elizondo, and Tyrpak find their footing on the offensive side.
And the SAFC faithful are hoping it is sooner rather than later.
San Antonio FC is now (1-2-2, 5 points) on the season and will hit the road the next two weeks for their “Fiesta Road Trip”. The team will return to the pitch next Sunday when they take on Fresno FC at 8 p.m. CDT.