San Antonio FC has recovered from their first loss of the season as they managed a 1-1 draw with Sacramento Republic at Papa Murphy’s Park on Saturday night.
After the red card to Diego Restrepo, Lee Johnston was given the start in goal, his first professional start. Interestingly San Antonio FC also went without a goalkeeper on the bench, a risky move, which, thankfully they didn’t need.
“It felt great. I enjoy playing in front of big crowds; I played in front of them before in college, and tonight when I was called upon I was there to help the guys out.” Said Johnston after the match.
The opening goal came from Sacramento in the 19th minute after a perfect through-ball from Danny Barrera. That allowed Emrah Klimenta to run on to it and slide the ball past Johnston.
Just before the half hour San Antonio FC managed to equalize through an AJ Ajeakwa off another through-ball. Kris Tyrpak sent in the through ball, allowing Ajeakwa to run on to it and shoot across the face and in to the back of the net at the far post.
Three minutes after San Antonio went ahead as the Barrera and Klimenta combination nearly worked out again. Barrera sent in a corner attack and found Klimenta whose shot was blocked before he recovered and shot again only for Johnston to save.
On the hour mark San Antonio had their best chance as Billy Forbes made a run up the right wing before cutting inside to the area. That allowed him to get a powerful shot away but Evan Newton got down at full stretch to save the shot.
In the 72nd minute Sacramento forced a good save out of Johnston, after a strong run from Wilson Kneeshaw. A long ball went over the top of the San Antonio defense allowing Kneeshaw to gather it, one-on-one with Johnston who made a good save, getting down low.
Sacramento pushed late to take the lead and in the 79th minute they probably should have taken the lead when Daniel Trickett-Smith had a golden opportunity. The ball was sent across the face by Gabe Gissie along the ground, that left Trickett-Smith with an open net but he inexplicably sent the effort wide of goal.
Three minutes from time a corner kick gave Sacramento the last chance of the match as Trickett-Smith crossed for Gissie. He got a header square for Jeremy Hall who followed a head on for Kneeshaw but his first-time shot sent it high and wide, forcing Sacramento to settle for a draw.