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GAMEDAY ROUNDUP: Memphis, Howard Claim First Win, Down Saint Louis

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 08/01/20, 9:14PM EDT

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Sporting ends Indy's 11-game home winning streak; Tulsa earns first victory in early hours of morning

Memphis 901 FC and Tim Howard claimed their first victory of the season with a shutout of Saint Louis FC, while Sporting Kansas City II pulled off another massive road victory against Indy Eleven on Saturday night, FC Tulsa earned its first win of the season in the early hours of Sunday morning, and San Antonio FC pulled away late against in-state rival Austin Bold FC to claim a valuable victory on a busy evening of action across the USL Championship.

MEMPHIS 901 FC (1), SAINT LOUIS FC (0)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Memphis 901 FC earned its first victory of the season as Tim Howard posted a four-save shutout and Keanu Marsh-Brown scored the only goal at AutoZone Park to end Saint Louis’ recent winning streak.

Marsh-Brown almost put the hosts ahead in the 15th minute when a low cross by Rece Buckmaster from the left reached him at the far post, but the low finish was blocked behind for a corner kick by Saint Louis defender Phanuel Kavita. That proved the only big chance in the first half for either side, but nine minutes after the break Marsh-Brown notched his first goal for Memphis. A chipped pass over the top by Jean-Christophe Koffi found Mark Segbers breaking into the right side of the penalty area, and his low cross to the top of the six-yard area was tucked away simply by the English winger.

Memphis got a golden opportunity to double its lead on the hour-mark when Kavita brought down Segbers in the penalty area. Brandon Allen stepped up to the spot for the hosts, but his low shot to the right was saved by STLFC goalkeeper Kyle Morton to keep it a one-goal game. Saint Louis was unable to find momentum off the reprieve, however, and while Tyler Blackwood forced a pair of saves from Howard the former U.S. Men’s National Team standout recorded his first clean sheet between the sticks in his adopted hometown and helped seal all three points.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Keanu Marsh-Brown, Memphis 901 FC – Marsh-Brown scored the decisive goal and had four shots overall while winning 4 of 5 duels and recording one key pass for the hosts.

SPORTING KANSAS CITY II (1), INDY ELEVEN (0)

INDIANAPOLIS – Sporting notched its second victory in four days as Danny Barbir scored the only goal and brought Indy’s 11-game home winning streak and 28-game home undefeated streak in the regular season to an end at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Championship goalscoring leader Tyler Pasher was lively early for the hosts and forced a good low save from SKC II goalkeeper Brooks Thomson with a low, angled shot to the left corner in the fourth minute. The best chance for the first half, however, fell to Indy’s Felicien Dumas, who was sent into left side of the penalty area by a chipped pass from Kenney Walker that Dumas struck first time only for Thompson to parry it wide.

Sporting – which had claimed victory at Louisville City FC on Wednesday night – continued to hold firm defensively to start the second half, but then the visitors took the lead with a well-worked goal that saw Enoch Mushagalusa play a clever give-and-go on the left side to get in behind the defense and then cut back a cross to Barbir at the top of the penalty area for a shot into the top-right corner. Indy had a big chance to level with six minutes to go when Pasher was played into the penalty area by Ilija Ilic but shot over the crossbar, and then another as Thompson made a good low save to deny Andrew Carleton before Camden Riley blocked the rebound chance for Ilic behind for a corner kick.

The Eleven came even closer early in second-half stoppage time when a corner kick from the left found Neveal Hackshaw free, but the Trinidad & Tobago defender’s header rattled off the crossbar and was cleared. Paddy Barrett also went close for the hosts, but his header looped over the bar and onto the top of the net as the Eleven suffered their second loss of the season.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Brooks Thompson, Sporting Kansas City II – The Indiana native put up another stellar performance against the Eleven, and this time was rewarded with a four-save shutout to earn his side victory.

FC TULSA (2), RIO GRANDE VALLEY FC (1)

EDINBURG, Texas – Tulsa claimed its first victory of the season against the Toros in a game that saw both the opening kickoff delayed late into the South Texas night and another delay mean the final whistle didn’t arrive until 2:32 a.m. CT at H-E-B Park.

Looking to earn its first win of the season, Tulsa almost took the lead in the 12th minute when Ariel Martinez cut into the left side of the Toros’ penalty area and fired a low shot to the right corner that was saved by RGVFC goalkeeper Paul Blanchette. The visitors struck first 14 minutes later, however, as a corner kick from the left by Lebo Moloto deflected out of a crowd of players in the middle of the area and fell to Marlon, who reacted quickly and fired home from close range.

Tulsa thought it had found a second four minutes before halftime when Rodrigo Da Costa was ruled offside after shooting low into the bottom-right corner of the net, but then the game went into a lightning delay that lasted about an hour before the game could resume again. The Toros came out of the delay looking sharper and almost found an equalizer in the 63rd minute when Isidro Martinez’s corner kick from the right found Robert Castellanos at the back post for a header that hit the left post and was cleared.

Castellanos made no mistake with 19 minutes to go, however, as he rose to head home a cross by Robert Coronado at the back post after a short corner on the left had created an angle for the cross to be delivered. But then Tulsa hit back almost immediately from the penalty spot as Toros defender Kyle Adams was called for a handball in the penalty area, and Ariel Martinez shot low to the left corner to put the visitors back ahead. The visitors had a chance to ice the game late in stoppage time as Panin Boakye got free in the penalty area but had his shot saved by Blanchette, but it proved academic as Tulsa ended a long night with three points.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Ariel Martinez, FC Tulsa – The Cuban captain scored the decisive goal for Tulsa from the penalty spot and overall recorded two shots on goal, completed 21 of 28 passes and won 4 of 6 duels in the win.

SAN ANTONIO FC (4), AUSTIN BOLD FC (2)

AUSTIN, Texas – San Antonio pair of late goals by Cristian Parano and Luis Solignac to overcome a two-goal rally by Lonestar State rival Bold FC on Saturday night and take victory at Bold Stadium.

Austin created the first big chance in the 20th minute as former SAFC player Billy Forbes cut in from the right side and fired a shot toward the top-left corner that was well saved by San Antonio goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair. Just three minutes later, Solignac had his first of the night as a missed clearance saw the ball fall to the veteran forward and allow him to finish. Blake Smith added a second for the visitors as he spun past a defender to move onto a pass by Jose Gallegos and shot low past Bold FC goalkeeper Diego Restrepo.

Bold FC began to fight back nine minutes before halftime when Forbes got in behind the defense on a floated free kick by Xavier Baez and tapped home a first-time finish into the left corner of the net. Austin then leveled seven minutes into the second half when Ish Jome’s low cross from the left was redirected into his own net by San Antonio defender Josh Yaro, and with 20 minutes to go the hosts almost grabbed the lead as Thomas de Villardi played Forbes in for a chance that slid just wide of the right post.

San Antonio regained the lead four minutes later, however, as PC found Parano at the top of the penalty area, and the 2019 Championship Young Player of the Year took one touch before pivoting and firing a shot into the top-right corner of the net. Ten minutes later, Solignac wrapped up all three points for the visitors as Ignacio Bailone played him in alone on the left side of the penalty area for a low finish at the near post and victory for SAFC.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Luis Solignac, San Antonio FC – Solignac opened and closed the scoring for the visitors, scoring on his lone two shots of the game to help San Antonio pick up an important three points.

PITTSBURGH RIVERHOUNDS SC (4), PHILADELPHIA UNION II (0)

PITTSBURGH – Kenardo Forbes became the Championship’s all-time regular season assists leader and Steevan Dos Santos had a pair of goals as the Hounds cruised to victory against the Union II at Highmark Stadium.

The Hounds took the lead in the 22nd minute as Daniel Griffin played Kenardo Forbes in behind the Union II defense on the right, allowing the Jamaican to record his sixth assist of the season with a chipped cross to the back post where Steevan Dos Santos was waiting to head home. Forbes then set a new mark for the Championship in regular season assists nine minutes before halftime as his corner kick from the left found Thomas Vancaeyezeele at the back post for a close-range header and a two-goal lead.

Dos Santos notched his second goal of the night three minutes before halftime when a poor clearance by Union II goalkeeper Mitch Budler outside his penalty area came straight to the Cape Verde forward, who returned it first-time with the outside of his right boot and curled it over Budler’s head and into the open net. The Hounds then made it four 20 minutes into the second half when Anthony Velarde recycled a corner kick and lifted a cross into the center of the penalty area that Ryan James volleyed home into the top-right corner.

A lightning delay held up proceedings for around half-an-hour with 12 minutes to go, but upon resumption the Hounds smoothly saw out the remainder of proceedings to snap a two-game losing streak.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Kenardo Forbes, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC – Forbes continued to do what he does best with his league-leading sixth and seventh assists of the season and claimed a historic moment in the process

SAN DIEGO LOYAL SC (0), SACRAMENTO REPUBLIC FC (0)

SAN DIEGO – SD Loyal and Republic FC ended with honors even at Torero Stadium as San Diego goalkeeper Jon Kempin recorded a three-save shutout for the hosts to add to their lead at the top of the Group A standings.

With both teams returning to action after midweek postponements, Sacramento created the first big chance of the night in the 22nd minute. Cameron Iwasa played a through-ball to the right flank for Sam Werner, whose low cross to the top of the six-yard area was met by Dariusz Formella at the near post only for San Diego goalkeeper Jon Kempin to meet the shot with a good save.  Iwasa also went close just before the half-hour mark as he put a header on target off a cross by Ashkanov Appollon from the left to the back post that Kempin did enough to keep out.

SD Loyal had its own chance to take the lead in the first half when a poorly cleared cross fell to Collin Martin at the top of the penalty area. The midfielder drifted to his right before playing in Jack Metcalf on the right side of the penalty area, but Sacramento goalkeeper Rafael Diaz was equal to Metcalf’s shot. Sacramento got back on the front foot to start the second half and Kharlton Belmar almost set up Werner for the opening goal with an angled cross from the left that Werner headed back across goal but wide of the left post. That proved the story of the night as neither side was able to capitalize on its chances, leaving the first edition of the Warren Smith Derby all square.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Jordan McCrary, Sacramento Republic FC – McCrary put in an excellent defensive shift, winning 10 of 15 duels and recording eight interceptions and 11 recoveries while notching two key passes in the attacking end.

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