SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio FC took its first victory of the season with a 2-1 win against Las Vegas Lights FC on Saturday in front of a crowd of 6,067 fans at Toyota Field. Here are three takeaways from the contest.
BREAKING THROUGH: After going winless through its first four games of the season, San Antonio entered Saturday knowing the result was probably more important than the performance at home against Lights FC. While there was is still plenty of room to grow, the three points that arrived due to goals by Bradford Jamieson IV – his first on loan from the LA Galaxy – and Ever Guzman provided a necessary lift for the side as it emerged with three points. This is still a work-in-progress – the lack of consistent attacking penetration that saw SAFC only register four shots on goal in the penalty area out of 12 overall stands out – but that can be addressed after the glow of victory wears off next week.
OUT OF LUCK: For its part, Las Vegas will point to a call that denied it an equalizer on a long-range shot by Mobi Fehr as the key moment in the game. After a corner kick was cleared to the top of the penalty area, Fehr’s shot found its way through the crowd of players to pick out the bottom-right corner, but the assistant referee flagged as the ball went close to Alex Harlley in an apparent offside position on its way though. With the goal chalked off, Lights FC had to continue to chase the game, and with seven minutes to go Guzman’s finish gave the hosts the insurance goal they would need, but Head Coach Eric Wynalda’s side will head back to Nevada likely thinking it got the raw end of the deal.
PIVOTAL DUO: With San Antonio moving to a 3-4-3 formation overall, finding the right balance for the center of the midfield partnership was going to be key to the system’s overall success. After the display put in by Jack Barmby and Michael Lahoud – who wore the captain’s armband on Saturday – SAFC Head Coach Daryl Powell may have found his pairing. The combination of Barmby’s creative feel evidenced by his slide-rule assist on Ever Guzman’s goal with seven minutes to go and Lahoud’s ability to provide solid cover and distribution in the middle seemed to be a good fit. More of the same next week when the LA Galaxy II come to visit would be very welcome indeed.