Photo courtesy Darren Abate / San Antonio FC
SAN ANTONIO – Miguel Gonzalez scored deep in stoppage time as OKC Energy FC earned a 1-1 draw with San Antonio FC in front of a sellout crowd of 8,131 at Toyota Field in the USL Game of the Week on ESPNU. San Antonio’s Michael Reed fired high from a free kick on the opening chance of the game in the 16th minute, and Rafael Castillo forced a save with a similar chance eight minutes later. Alex Dixon flashed a shot wide of the left post as OKC threatened just before the half-hour-mark, while SAFC's Sebastian Ibeagha saw a low shot off a set piece saved by Energy FC goalkeeper Cody Laurendi a minute later as both sides struggled to create clear chances in the run of play. San Antonio had a good chance on the counterattack early in the second half, only for Kris Tyrpak to sky his finish, but Billy Forbes struck in the 52nd minute with a good lifted finish to beat Laurendi for the opening goal. Gonzalez forced a save in the 67th minute with a curling shot from the left that was smothered by Diego Restrepo. With eight minutes to go, however, Energy FC was awarded a penalty kick after reference to the Video Assistant Referee, but Coady Andrews fired his shot off the crossbar, and San Antonio cleared the ensuing corner kick after a scramble in the penalty area. In stoppage time OKC earned its point as Gonzalez fired home after Luis Martinez’s header had been initially saved, and the rebound put off the crossbar by an errant clearance allowed the attacking midfielder to make the most of OKC’s final chance.
52’ – SA – Billy Forbes (Devin Vega)
90+’ – OKC – Miguel Gonzalez
Three Things That Matter:
1. San Antonio FC entered Friday night’s contest needing a win to set up a crucial game with Real Monarchs SLC next Saturday night at Toyota Field. The hosts appeared to have achieved their goal as the game entered stoppage time, but a miraculous late finish by Miguel Gonzalez earned OKC a point that could prove crucial as the race for the USL Cup Playoffs heats up. SAFC is now winless in three games, and sitting seven points behind the Monarchs the pressure will be on to earn victory in eight days.
2. After a scoreless first half, Energy FC felt the need to push the issue more, but that gave San Antonio its chance to hit on the counterattack, which paid off only seven minutes after the break. A precise clearance from Diego Restrepo found Devin Vega in space on the right to spring the attack, and a fine piece of footwork by Billy Forbes to control and finish gave the winger his first goal since April 28, and the first goal in the contest.
3. Energy FC was, correctly, the beneficiary of a decision via the Video Assistant Referee in the final 10 minutes, but the chance to equalize was squandered. Coady Andrews stepped up in the absence of Andy Craven – who had been 3-for-3 from the penalty spot since his return to OKC, only to be ruled out on Friday through injury – and rang a fierce shot off the crossbar. The miss could have proved fatal to OKC’s chances of taking something from the game, but their proactive stance in the second half paid off as they piled on pressure late, which allowed Miguel Gonzalez’s stoppage-time goal to earn a big point on the road.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Miguel Gonzalez, OKC Energy FC – Gonzalez’s stoppage-time finish salvaged a point for Energy FC after a late penalty kick miss could have deflated the side on the road.
San Antonio FC vs. Real Monarchs SLC – July 22, 8:30 p.m. ET, Toyota Field
OKC Energy FC vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – July 22, 8:30 p.m. ET, Taft Stadium