In their first home match in almost a month, San Antonio FC (7-1-0, 22pts) remained unbeaten on the season as they defeated the visiting Sacramento Republic FC (3-1-4, 10pts) 1-0. Veteran midfielder Rafa Castillo scored the match's only goal via a penalty kick in the 64' to extend SAFC's record winning streak to five straight matches and its overall undefeated record of eight straight.
All-time regular season series: 0-1-0, Tied
Last match: 1-1 away draw vs Sacramento (2016)
San Antonio FC (6-7-7, 25pts) left the California capital with only a point in their hands as their victory was lost in the depths of second-half stoppage time on Saturday night. Sacramento Republic FC (9-7-6, 34pts) were playing catch-up for the better part of 75 minutes until a questionable penalty kick allowed SRFC's Octavio Guzman to step up to the spot and put the ball past Ford to equalize for the home side.
The match started out brightly for both sides, but it was the visitors who struck first. Sébastien Thurière let off a long-range shot that was initially saved by Republic's goalkeeper, Evan Newton, but he couldn't hold on to the ball. The rebound fell neatly at the feet of SAFC forward César Elizondo who easily tapped it in for his first in a SAFC kit and ninth with teams from San Antonio.
The home side were more aggressive in the second-half and proved the idea that they are a second-half team. They tested Josh Ford in goal, who matched his personal record of six saves. The team captain was playing in his first match after serving his three match suspension.
San Antonio concludes this three match away trip in the desert when they visit Arizona United FC for the first time. The next two matches will be back-to-back against Arizona United, both home and away.
Alamo Soccer's Man of the Match: César Elizondo (1 goal)
All-time regular season series: First match.
San Antonio FC (6-6-7, 24pts) travels this week to face the 2014 USL Champions, Sacramento Republic FC. The team will be looking to get back on track after dropping their last two straight. It's only the second time the club has lost multiple straight matches. Its latest loss was a tough one to swallow, however. The Alamo City boys were up 1-0 visiting Swope Park Rangers when halftime came. Some key substitutions during and after intermission, including game captain and goalscorer, Michael Reed, left the team vulnerable to the continued possession and pressure brought on by the home squad. Two second-half goals ultimately did San Antonio in. The loss put some separation between Rangers and San Antonio, who still play each other one final time this season. Back-up goal keeper, Matt Cardone played a wonderful match with plenty of top-notch saves. His nine saves were a new club record, previously set by captain Josh Ford (6) who was serving the last match of his three match suspension.
Sacramento Republic FC (9-6-6, 33pts) currently sit in fourth place in the Western Conference but have been out of form in recent weeks. In the month of July, Sacramento went 1-2-3, last winning at the beginning of the month against S2. They won their first match in a month during a mid-week clash with the OKC Energy; they now return home for the match against SAFC.
It's unfortunate that these two sides, both with outspoken MLS aspirations, will only play once this season due to the seriously unbalanced USL schedule for 2016. The two sides will, however, see each other twice in 2017 as all Western Conference teams will play a home-away with all conference foes plus a few extra regional matches to round out the new 32 match season.
As San Antonio FC enters in the final third of its inaugural season, every match is a must win if a first-year playoff run is to become a reality.
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The game is this Saturday, August 6th at 9:00pm CST. #SACvSA
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San Antonio FC & the USL
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