EDINBURG, Texas – Vicente Sanchez scored a late winner as Rio Grande Valley FC earned a 1-0 victory against San Diego Loyal SC on Thursday night at H-E-B Park, giving the Toros two wins out of two to start the 2021 USL Championship season. With the goal, Sanchez also became the oldest goalscorer in the Championship’s history, with his goal aged 41 years, 4 months, 29 days old surpassing the record previously held by Didier Drogba.
The sides exchanged early chances in the first half, including a solid save by Toros goalkeeper Tyler Deric to keep out a shot by Elijah Martin, but the first big chance of the game came to the hosts in the 17th minute as Alexis Cerritos found space for a turning shot from 12 yards that went just wide of the right post. San Diego put the ball in the net through Corey Hertzog four minutes later only for the offside flag to be raised, but from there the Toros began to take control of the remainder of the half.
RGVFC’s Christian Sorto forced the first big save of the night from SD Loyal goalkeeper Trey Muse as he created space on the left side of the penalty area for a low effort to the far post that Muse made a fine kick-save to deny. Then three minutes before halftime Toros debutant Erik Pimentel tried his luck from long range and saw Muse produce a good one-handed stop to turn the shot away.
San Diego threatened early in the second half when Martin was played into the left side of the penalty area for a low shot to the far corner that Deric got down well to turn wide. The Toros shot-stopper then produced another good save to keep out Tumi Moshobane after a sweeping move upfield by SD Loyal with 20 minutes to go.
The Toros grabbed all three points with three minutes to go, however, as the hosts recycled possession in the left corner before Sorto delivered a curling cross that picked out Sanchez, on as a second-half substitute, for a stooping header between defenders that found the bottom-right corner of the net.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Vicente Sanchez, Rio Grande Valley FC – The veteran Uruguayan produced the decisive moment of the night after coming on as a substitute with 16 minutes to go, and added his name to the Championship record books in the process.
RGV – Vicente Sanchez (Christian Sorto) 87’