Photo courtesy Darren Abate / San Antonio FC
SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio FC remained undefeated to start the new season as Cesar Elizondo scored a pair of goals in a 4-0 victory against Reno 1868 FC at Toyota Field on Saturday night. The teams exchanged chances in the opening half-hour, with Reno’s Dane Kelly having two opportunities in the opening 10 minutes, but San Antonio took the lead in the 34th minute when Billy Forbes picked up possession on the left wing and drove past defenders into the penalty area before shooting home at the near post. Rafael Castillo went close to doubling SAFC’s lead before the break, but 1868 FC almost found an equalizer just before the hour-mark as a clever chipped finish by Junior Burgos was just tipped over the crossbar. Forbes was central again, though, as San Antonio made it a two-goal lead with a well-weighted pass found Cesar Elizondo for a low finish on a counter-attack. Kelly tried to pull Reno back into it as his low shot was parried away by Matt Cardone a few minutes later, and Elizondo added his second of the night with 11 minutes to go. Rafael Castillo then wrapped up the scoring from the penalty spot in stoppage time as Rafael Garcia shot low into the right corner.
34’ – SA – Billy Forbes (Greg Cochrane)
67’ – SA – Cesar Elizondo (Billy Forbes)
79’ – SA – Cesar Elizondo (Sebastian Ibeagha)
90’ – SA – Rafael Castillo (penalty kick)
Three Things That Matter:
1. San Antonio remained undefeated as it pulled away with a strong second-half performance led by Billy Forbes and Cesar Elizondo, who combined for the opening three goals of the game as their speed proved too much to handle for Reno’s defense. Forbes in particular was incisive, scoring a fine individual effort to open the scoring before providing a perfect pass to set up Elizondo’s first of the night. Elizondo then added his second as Reno tried to chase the game, capping a celebratory end of a three-game home stand.
2. Reno remains winless, but wasn’t necessarily as far off as tonight’s score-line might indicate as San Antonio goalkeeper Matt Cardone had to make a number of good saves to earn his shutout. Dane Kelly was unable to find the net, but both he and Junior Burgos again showed flashes of what they can do for this side as it returns home to Greater Nevada Field. The road doesn’t get any easier, though, with Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC the visitor next week as the expansion side still looks for its first win.
3. San Antonio moved to the Western Conference standings at the end of the night with Saturday’s victory, and based on the opening four games should be among the contenders to be there close to the end of the season. SAFC didn’t take its third win of it is inaugural season until its 13th game of the year in its inaugural year, but now is sitting with nine goals in four games and looking like one of the league’s more complete teams.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Billy Forbes, San Antonio FC – Forbes scored the opener and set up the second with a fine pass to keep San Antonio undefeated this season.
San Antonio FC at Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 – April 22, 6 p.m. ET, Thunderbird Stadium
Reno 1868 FC vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – April 22, 10 p.m. ET, Greater Nevada Field