Photo courtesy Rio Grande Valley FC
EDINBURG, Texas – San Antonio FC claimed its first victory against Rio Grande Valley FC on Sunday night as Billy Forbes lifted the side to a 1-0 victory, spoiling the Toros’ first USL regular season contest at H-E-B Park. San Antonio took the lead in the 15th minute when Cesar Elizondo drove forward and set up Forbes for a low shot into the right corner of the net. The Toros should have equalized on the half-hour mark after stealing possession for Ruben Luna and getting into position for a shot at an open net, but pulled his shot wide of the target. RGVFC’s Eric Bird created pair of chances early in the second half, the second of which was well saved by SAFC goalkeeper Matt Cardone, before Murphy hit the post with a fierce shot after a goal-mouth scramble as the Toros searched for an equalizer. The hosts believed they should have been awarded a penalty kick with 18 minutes to go when Cardone appeared to bring down Ruben Luna, only for the appeals to be waved away, and San Antonio was able to withstand a late barrage to claim victory in its season opener.
15’ – SA – Billy Forbes (Cesar Elizondo)
Three Things That Matter:
1. With the excitement that accompanied his return to the Alamo City this offseason from San Antonio FC’s fanbase, there was probably no more appropriate player to notch the club’s first goal of the season than Billy Forbes. His first-time finish from a good drive and pass from Cesar Elizondo was also the first goal for SAFC since it faced the Toros for the first time last season.
2. The Toros had only themselves to blame for not getting something out of Sunday evening’s contest, as their high pressure created chances off San Antonio turnovers that they failed to take advantage of. Kyle Murphy’s first-half miss on an empty goal was the most egregious, and he was slightly unlucky with a volleyed finish that came back off the left post in the second half, but RGVFC will leave the game frustrated it didn’t take points from its home opener.
3. San Antonio’s defense was under siege for good sections of the final half-hour, but while it likely caught a break when goalkeeper Matt Cardone appeared to bring down Toros forward Ruben Luna in the penalty area, the new additions to the club’s back four fared well as it withstood the pressure. Emerging from its opening game of the season on the road with three points, especially earning its first victory against its in-state rival, will be a big confidence boost for SAFC as it returns to Toyota Field next Saturday.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Sebastian Ibeagha, San Antonio FC – The newcomer from the Houston Dynamo put in a big performance in his debut, recording 10 clearances, as SAFC earned the shutout victory.
Rio Grande Valley FC at Tulsa Roughnecks FC – April 1, 8 p.m. ET, ONEOK Field
San Antonio FC vs. LA Galaxy II – April 1, 8:30 p.m. ET, Toyota Field