SAN ANTONIO- San Antonio FC traveled to Salt Lake City on June 26 where they faced the Real Monarchs SLC in a match that concluded in a 1-1 draw.
In the first meeting between the two teams back in May, San Antonio found themselves in the lead in the 19th minute. SAFC doubled their score in the 44th minute. Unfortunately, only four minutes later, the Monarchs put themselves on the board with one goal. In the 58th minute, SLC tied the game up and the match finished in a 2-2 draw.
Like most teams, San Antonio has certainly found more luck at home than on the road, however, San Antonio has not won a single game on the road so far in the 2021 regular season, going 0-2-3 through five matches. Their overall record for the season thus far stands at 2-2-6.
San Antonio was on a winning streak this season until they hit the road. Their very first away game did not set them up for success on the road as it became their first loss of the season when they fell 2-1 to the RGV Toros. When SAFC returned home, they found success for themselves again as they defeated Birmingham Legion FC 2-1.
“It’s positive to get a point on the road, it’s never easy playing away from home,” said Alen Marcina, SAFC head coach. “Collectively, we need to do a better job executing. We believe and trust the process, and soon we will be executing and turning those ties into wins. All we can do now is learn, grow and get ready for our upcoming opponent.”
The initial meeting between SAFC and the Monarchs on May 8 was the beginning of San Antonio’s notorious streak of conceding late goals.
However, in their latest match-up against the Monarchs Saturday night, things looked a little different for San Antonio. Despite still ending in a draw SAFC did not concede a late goal this time. In fact, it was San Antonio who came up with the last-minute goal to level the score.
Better off the bench
After the Monarchs put themselves up 1-0 in the 39th minute, they hunkered down to limit their opponent’s chances. Just as it seemed the game was slipping away from SAFC, Marcina made a couple of changes that saved San Antonio from falling short.
In the 57th minute, Marcina subbed on forward Nathan Fogaça, who went down with an injury in San Antonio’s previous match. Since then, Nathan recovered and was able to make an appearance as well as a significant impact on Saturday’s match. He stepped on the field with fresh legs against the Monarch’s already tired backline. He quickly helped develop chances but none of San Antonio’s offense could finish them.
“At some point this year we’ll have our full roster available,” said Marcina. “Like any team, you’re strongest with a full roster and we haven’t had that opportunity just yet. I am proud of the players who have been stepping up and as their number is called, and now we just have to clean up our execution.”
Next, came on Ollie Wright in the 70th minute. In Wright’s previous appearance he secured his first ever professional assist. Well, Saturday night it only took him seven minutes to claim his second. After receiving the ball from Nathan, Wright slipped the ball in between SLC’s backline as forward Justin Dhillon met it just in time to slide it past the Monarchs’ goalkeeper, leveling the match 1-1.
Not good enough
“Overall it’s not good enough,” SAFC Defender Liam Doyle said. “We’ve had too many draws and we’ve been letting the odd goal in here and there, and we’re not capitalizing on chances, and until we do we won’t win games, it’s as simple as that.”
In regard to San Antonio’s latest performance on the road, Doyle said it best. San Antonio has consistently squandered away multiple goal-scoring opportunities in their recent games, Saturday night included. The inability to score off of good opportunities has followed them closely, especially on the road. Hopefully, they can turn their luck around in their next away match July 17 against the Colorado Springs Switchbacks.