Toyota Field – San Antonio FC earned a point in a hard fought 2-2 draw against Real Monarchs SLC in front of 7,462 fans at Toyota Field on Saturday night.
The result is no doubt a sting in the tail for SAFC, who gave up a late goal in the final minutes for the second straight game and three times in their last four. In their last five games, San Antonio has gone 1-1-3, earning six out of a possible 15 points.
Despite their record and place in the standings, San Antonio knows they need to continue to tweak their play and start focusing on the little things at the end of games. Errors like giving up late goals in matches are things that end playoff runs.
“I think we can learn from this game,” San Antonio FC midfielder Devin Vega said after the game. “Playing this team helps us continue to prepare in this second half of the season. I think if we play the way we did tonight the rest of the season, we’ll do well.”
The match began with high emotion from the opening whistle. Real Monarchs’ Kyle Curinga went down to the pitch within the first 20 seconds after appearing to get pushed by SAFC striker Billy Forbes. The replay showed Forbes did not touch Curinga, sending fans into a chorus of boos.
SAFC struck first in the 27th minute when Forbes found Vega with a pass at the top of the box. The 18-year-old hometown native converted on a low shot that found its way into the net, putting San Antonio up 1-0. Real Monarchs struck back after Chandler Hoffman converted on a penalty kick five minutes later, making it a 1-1 match at halftime.
The second half began just like the first half, with San Antonio taking the lead. Midfielder Kris Tyrpak scored off a set piece in the 68th minute after SAFC defender Sebastien Ibeagha played the ball near the goal, leaving Tyrpak to put home the goal from point blank range. The tally put San Antonio up 2-1 and it was the Texas native’s fourth of the season.
“We worked on that play in training,” Typrak said of his goal. “It was supposed to draw a defender out and Sebastien (Ibeagha) did a great job to get the ball across. We’ve been working on set piece goals every week and finally one came for us today.”
It was déjà vu for San Antonio for the second straight weekend as they gave up a late goal, costing them two extra points. Max Lachowecki found the back of the net in the 85th minute off a cross, beating SAFC goalkeeper Diego Restrepo to seal the 2-2 match.
Last weekend SAFC led 1-0 in stoppage time against OKC, but a late goal saw them lose out on two points and Saturday saw a similar result with five minutes to play until stoppage time. SAFC has just two of six points in the past two matches, seeing them drop to third place in the Western Conference table.
“I think if you came to tonight’s game, you came out of it very entertained,” SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell said. “The guys played very well and worked extremely hard and got in a position to win the game, but unfortunately we conceded one at the end of the match.”
Match notes: The crowd of 7,462 fans was the fourth-highest attendance of the 2017 season. The previous two matches saw sellout crowds over 8,000. SAFC gave up two goals for just the second time all season. The last time San Antonio conceded two goals was back in April against Seattle Sounders 2.
Up next: San Antonio FC is now 10-1-7 (37 points) and will return to the pitch next weekend when they travel to Arizona to face Phoenix Rising FC at 8:30 p.m.