Photo courtesy of Sam Ortega / Portland Timbers 2
PORTLAND, Ore. – San Antonio FC enjoyed a record-breaking moment in more ways than one with a 4-0 victory against the Portland Timbers 2 on Friday at Providence Park. Billy Forbes moved into a share of the league lead with his sixth goal, Cesar Elizondo netted two goals and New England Revolution loanee Zachary Herivaux provided a stoppage-time tally as San Antonio earned its fourth consecutive win, which is a club record. Another club record is the team’s season-opening seven-game unbeaten streak as the team improves to 6-0-1 (19 points) to cap off its three-game road trip to the Pacific Northwest. Friday also marked the first victor in the head-to-head series after the sides played to a 1-1 draw on June 11, 2016. Portland, which was coming off a 2-0 win at Sacramento Republic FC the week before, drops to 1-6-0 (3 points).
20’ – SA – Billy Forbes (Cesar Elizondo)
34’ – SA – Cesar Elizondo
90+1’ – SA – Zachary Herivaux (Devin Vega)
90+3’ – SA – Cesar Elizondo
Three Things That Mattered:
1. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. San Antonio continues to look to Billy Forbes as the centerpiece of its attack, and the club once again benefited from his play. In the opening half, T2 gave SAFC very little time on the ball, but it was a counterattack moment of brilliance that put the Western Conference leader on top early. Forbes rushed to the right side of the box, cut back to his left to elude a pair of Portland defenders and fired into the far left post for a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute. Then in the 34th minute, Forbes generated the chance with a cross from the right of the box. T2 defender Shaquille Jimenez deflected it, but the ball ricocheted perfectly to an onrushing Cesar Elizondo whose one-touch finish pushed the lead to two. Elizondo tallied his third and fourth goals of the season, capping off the scoring in second-half stoppage time. Forbes is now tied for the league lead with six. San Antonio only had two shots in the opening half – both on frame and both in the back of the net.
2. San Antonio’s win goes down as the pinnacle of regular-season stretches in the club’s young history. Twice last year, SAFC recorded three-game winning streaks. That was broken Friday with a fourth straight. SAFC had a six-game unbeaten stretch (4-0-2) from June 11-July 16 last season. Now that unbeaten mark is seven (6-0-1) and has the potential to extend further. In seven games, San Antonio has 19 points to its name in 2017. In the first 14 games of 2016, SAFC had only 17 points (4-5-5 record) to provide some perspective of how much stronger SAFC has been in its second campaign.
3. Portland has been an anomaly in many ways this season because the club has had a number of strong spells, but T2’s record does not come close to showing it. Friday night was another game where the numbers and result did not convey the full story because T2 controlled the tempo, switched the field well, was spaced well and generated some set-piece opportunities that just didn’t pan out with a better delivery in many cases. Portland had roughly two-thirds of the possession and was lacking a finish. San Antonio’s defense had a number of key blocks and forced T2 to take most of its chances from outside the box. T2 hit the post twice in the second half – once would have been a potential own goal and in the 85th minute, Augustine Williams headed the ball off the left of the frame.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Cesar Elizondo, San Antonio FC – Elizondo had two goals, assisted Billy Forbes and early in the second half could have added another tally as SAFC for the most part capitalized on its chances.
Portland Timbers 2 at Seattle Sounders FC 2 – May 5, 10:30 p.m. ET, Starfire Stadium
San Antonio FC vs. Sacramento Republic FC – May 6, 8:30 p.m. ET, Toyota Field