San Antonio FC has continued their phenomenal start to the 2017 USL season and extended their lead on top of the western conference standings to four points as they managed a 3-2 win over Seattle Sounders 2 at Starfire Stadium on Tuesday night.
“Tonight was a very difficult game.” Said San Antonio FC head coach Darren Powell. “Seattle asked a lot of us defensively, but our guys hung in there and fought hard. We rested a few guys, but earning three points in this league is extremely valuable.”
A rebound saw San Antonio FC open the scoring as a good save fell right back to the visitors, allowing Ben Newnam to square the ball. That ball found Akwafei Ajeakwa who was left with a simple tap-in to open his account with San Antonio FC.
San Antonio FC doubled their lead in the 24th minute after another defensive mistake allowed them to capitalize. A butchered attempt at a headed clearance allowed Billy Forbes to capitalize as he snuck in behind and easily buried the chance.
Seattle started the second half well and a perfect lob allowed the Sounders reserves to get back in to the match in the 55th minute. The ball was lobbed over the San Antonio defense by Brian Nana-Sinkam for Sam Rogers who was able to bury it.
But San Antonio restored their two goal cushion in the 69th minute thanks to a phenomenal bit of individual skill from San Antonio native Devin Vega. He was able to run forward, cutting inside a defender and then hit the ball powerfully across the face to make it 3-1 and give him his first professional goal.
Seattle Sounders 2 set up a dramatic finish in the 75th minute as a penalty was duly dispatched by Zach Mathers. That saw Seattle push for the final 15 minutes but they couldn’t get a goal in what time was left, allowing San Antonio to hold on for the win.
In the absence of Matt Cardone, due to injury, Diego Restrepo was given the start in goal after coming off the bench on Saturday. Restrepo came up big in the sixth minute as a strong corner finished with a free header but Restrepo reached up to make a save.
Seattle’s defense was absolutely woeful throughout the first half of the match, consistently letting San Antonio through. In the 34th minute there were appeals for a penalty after a poor challenge, and it should have been given, as contact was made, but the referee evidently had sympathy.
Impressive in the backline was debutant loanee Zachary Herivaux who made a number of vital clearances in the back line. The youngster often was the starting pass of an attacking move forward providing that link between defense and midfield.
Seattle should have been back on level terms on the hour mark as a beautiful ball across the face just could not find a team mate. San Antonio was struggling to find any rhythm in the second half, as a lineup that has not played together this season was on the park due to the busy schedule but they still did enough to get the win and stay top of the league.