Photo courtesy Darren Abate / San Antonio FC
SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio FC extended its undefeated streak to six games, and moved into the top eight in the Western Conference, with a 2-0 victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 on Saturday night at Toyota Field. WFC2 got the first big chance of the game from the penalty spot when Marco Bustos was pulled down on a free kick, but forward Kyle Greig’s shot to the left corner was saved by SAFC goalkeeper Matt Cardone. San Antonio threatened more as the half wore on, but was unable to find a breakthrough before the halftime break. The hosts continued to have the better of the game in the second half, but Whitecaps FC 2 goalkeeper Spencer Richey made a strong save to deny Cesar Elizondo a goal on his debut for SAFC just before the hour-mark to keep the game scoreless. San Antonio got its own chance to score from the spot in the 64th minute, though, as Michael Reed was brought down, and Rafael Castillo made no mistake as he shot low into the right corner. San Antonio then put the game away in stoppage time, as Frank Tayou scored his third goal since joining the side to wrap up the victory.
64’ – SA – Rafael Castillo (PK)
90+’ – SA – Franck Tayou (Greg Cochrane)
Three Things That Matter:
1. For a while it was looking like it might be another frustrating night for San Antonio at home after last week's scoreless draw with OKC Energy FC, but the side was able to pull out a big victory that will do the club’s playoffs hopes a world of good after handing WFC2 its second consecutive defeat. Chances came and went for SAFC for the first hour of the game, but when the side needed its stand-in captain to deliver, Rafa Castillo’s experience showed as he sent Vancouver goalkeeper Spencer Richey – who had an excellent game overall – the wrong way to send San Antonio on its way to victory.
2. Saturday night wasn’t San Antonio FC goalkeeper Matt Cardone’s first start of the season, but the rookie will have taken a big boost in confidence thanks to his penalty save on WFC2 leading scorer Kyle Greig in the first half. Cardone’s professional debut didn’t go to plan as he was in goal for a 3-2 loss at Rio Grande Valley FC earlier this season, but with Josh Ford sidelined two more games with suspension, SAFC will need him to come up big to continue its recent strong run.
3. Vancouver will head back home licking its wounds after falling twice and conceding six goals in those defeats over its trip to Texas. While the week was a disappointing one, though, there remains a big chance up on the horizon for Coach Alan Koch’s side to get things back on track quickly with Sacramento Republic FC coming into Thunderbird Stadium next Sunday afternoon for what will be a must-see contest between the Western Conference contenders.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Rafa Castillo, San Antonio FC – Castillo not only scored the game-winning goal from the penalty spot, but also put in a composed performance in the center of midfield as San Antonio extended its undefeated streak to six games.
San Antonio FC vs. LA Galaxy II – July 23, 8:30 p.m. ET, Toyota Field
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 vs. Sacramento Republic FC – July 24, 5 p.m. ET, Thunderbird Stadium