Didier Drogba may not have made an appearance but San Antonio FC certainly showed up as they defeated Phoenix Rising 1-0 at Toyota Field on Saturday night. By winning the match San Antonio FC set a new San Antonio pro-soccer undefeated streak record of 10 league matches and 11 in all competitions.
“I’m very proud of our guys, they worked hard, it goes to show the strength we have and the depth in our squad.” Said San Antonio FC head coach Darren Powell after the match. “It’s good to look back on these things (the record) at the end of the season, but right now we’re in the thick of it.”
Some beautiful passing from San Antonio FC gave them the lead in the 13th minute after Billy Forbes sent a through-ball for Kris Tyrpak. It looked to be too heavy but Tyrpak gathered it and cut the ball back for AJ Ajeakwa who was left with a simple finish to make it 1-0.
“We’ve scored some good goals along the way this season,” said Powell “and this will rank up there among them. Kris (Tyrpak) delivered a good ball and AJ (Ajeakwa) had good timing on his run for the finish.”
“As I was running in, I noticed the whole back line was backing up towards goal,” said Ajeakwa, “so I decided to backup and meet Kris (Tyrpak), we usually do that a lot. We’ve worked on finishing this week, thank God we’ve been working on finishing this week.”
After opening the scoring early San Antonio was made to defend as Phoenix fought hard to respond to the deficit. But San Antonio’s defense stood strong, Stephen McCarthy especially prominent as he put his body on the line multiple times.
Tyrpak could have doubled San Antonio FC’s lead in the 25th minute as he found space on the edge of the box and hit a powerful shot. That shot was well saved by Josh Cohen but the rebound fell to Forbes who just couldn’t get to it.
In the 36th minute San Antonio had another chance to double their lead as Forbes made a good run in from the left. That allowed Forbes to square for Devin Vega who just couldn’t get his foot on the ball.
In stoppage time a free-kick from an audacious angle gave San Antonio another chance when Vega stepped up. He hit the shot directly at goal forcing another good save out of Cohen to keep it 1-0 at half-time.
The second half saw Phoenix push more in hunt of a second goal but as the half wore on San Antonio pushed their wingers further back. San Antonio looked rarely pressured despite Phoenix having a much bigger share of possession.
Billy Forbes had the best chance of the second half in the 76th minute as he made a smart run to perfectly break the offside trap. One-on-one with the keeper Forbes attempted a chip that just didn’t drop for him.