SAN ANTONIO – As the old saying goes, it’s not how you start but how finish. Darren Powell’s club found that out first hand on Saturday night.
A second half collapse, SAFC saw their two-goal lead disappear as they would draw 2-2 with Rio Grande Valley FC. The result will sting for the club, who would have been in seventh place in the Western Conference standings with a win.
“Certain games when you draw feel like a win, and certain games when you draw feel like a loss,” Powell said after the match. “The bottom line is you get a point, and we have to use that point, because every one of them is precious. Did we want three? Absolutely, we want them every week. That doesn’t change and that attitude doesn’t change, and you saw our guys’ attitude didn’t change in the last 10 minutes as they tried to get the three points.”
San Antonio got on the scoreboard early on in the match. Midfielder Jack Barmby let go a rocket off his left boot into the left corner of the net in the 14th minute. The goal would be the seventh of the season for the English midfielder. Just before halftime, Cristian Parano put SAFC up two goals with a beautiful high arcing goal as San Antonio went into the dressing room up 2-0.
SAFC pressured RGV most of the second half and had some good scoring chances but it would be RGV who would find the back of the net. The Toros subbed in Carlos Small and he instantly scored off a set piece as he headed the ball past SAFC goalkeeper Matt Cardone in the 75th, cutting San Antonio’s lead to one goal with 15 minutes to play. Disaster stuck for SAFC just five minutes later when defender Eby Ackon played a ball back, looking for Cardone but he was caught off guard. The ball would go into the left corner of the net, ending San Antonio’s hopes of getting three points.
“It’s another tough one on the chin,” SAFC midfielder Michael Lahoud said. “This is our third game with a man advantage and at some point as a group we have to learn our lessons. This is a result that feels like a loss for us, and it feels like the World Cup final for them. It’s a difficult one to swallow with a great opportunity, but this is a marathon.”
- The draw literally dropped SAFC from seventh to 12th in the Western Conference in the span of 15 minutes. San Antonio needs to hope those two points don’t bite them at the end of the season.
- Cristian Parano and Jack Barmby have combined for five goals in the last two matches for San Antonio.
- Pecka was a late scratch for San Antonio. Moises Hernandez would start the match and finish with an assist.
Three Standout Players
The English midfielder continues to rack up the goals as of late. Barmby scored the opening goal of the match with a shot off his left foot. The goal is Barmby’s seventh of the season, officially passing his total from 2018.
Barmby now has a goal in three matches and three goals in the last four matches overall.
The 20-year-old continues to show his poise and growing confidence as he is turning to one of the standout players on the offensive end for SAFC.
Parano added a goal late in the first half, giving him three goals in just the last two matches.
One of the better all around players on the SAFC roster has been Walter Restrepo. He had an assist in the match on Saturday, giving him three in the last two matches overall.
However, this long will sting for a long time for San Antonio but they have another chance to make things right next weekend.
“It’s not easy to get over this,” SAFC defender Moises Hernandez said. “We had the game, we were up 2-0 and were up a man, and things didn’t go as we planned at the end. We have to do better as a group and now we have to look forward to the next game which is a tough one against New Mexico.”
San Antonio FC is now 8-9-7 (31 points) on the season and will return to the pitch next Saturday when they welcome New Mexico United (8-6-10) to Toyota Field at 7:30 pm Central Time.