SAN ANTONIO – First-half goals by San Antonio FC’s Justin Dhillon and Rio Grande Valley FC’s Christian Sorto saw their sides share a 1-1 draw on Saturday night in the third South Texas Derby of the season at Toyota Field.
Looking to snap a four-game winless streak, San Antonio got out to an idea start in the 12th minute as a neat passing sequence capped off by Ollie Wright’s ball toward Justin Dhillon cutting into the left side of the penalty area was fired home by the SAFC forward for his second goal in the past three games.
The Toros hit back 10 minutes later, however, as Elvis Amoh threaded a pass from midfield through two defenders to pick out Christian Sorto at the top-left edge of the penalty area, and Sorto finished low into the right corner to even the score. The visitors threatened again four minutes later as well, but Alexis Cerritos’ curling shot from 25 yards to the right corner was nicely saved by SAFC’s Matt Cardone.
Dhillon had a chance to add a second for the hosts in the 27th minute as Cam Lindley delivered a free kick along the ground into the penalty area from the left that the forward shot just wide of the near post, but the teams went to halftime break level before Cerrito threatened again for the visitors three minutes into the second half. After picking up possession in midfield, the 20-year-old drove forward centrally and created space for a low shot to the right corner that Cardone got down well to save.
Both sides had difficulty in finding quality scoring opportunity for most of the second half, however, as Wright found the angle too narrow as he looked to finish from the right side of the penalty area in the 56th minute, shooting into the side netting. Marcus Epps then fired over for the hosts with 25 minutes to go as a free kick was redirected to the center of the penalty area for a left-footed finish, while Liam Doyle sent a looping header wide of the left post after a sweeping free kick by Lindley 10 minutes later.
The Toros almost stole a late winner with a minute to go as a set piece was half-cleared toward Wan Kuzain 35 yards from goal, and the playmaker controlled and fired a dipping shot that flashed just wide of the right post with Cardone at full stretch. That proved the final notable chance for either side, though, as honors ended even for a second time this season.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Juan Cabezas, Rio Grande Valley FC – Cabezas put in a stellar midfield performance, completing 46 of 57 passes and notching two key passes while winning 16 of 20 duels and making 11 recoveries for the visitors.
SA – Justin Dhillon (Ollie Wright) 12’
RGV – Christian Sorto (Elvis Amoh) 22’