Photo Courtesy Darren Abate/San Antonio FC
SAN ANTONIO – Rio Grande Valley FC gave its slim playoff hopes a big boost following a 1-0 win over a 10-man San Antonio FC on Saturday night in the South Texas Derby at Toyota Field. RGVFC hit the lead in the 17th minute as Jose Escalante made a great run through three players before producing a deft chip that was out of the reach of San Antonio goalkeeper Diego Restrepo. SAFC defender Ben Newnam was shown a red card just three minutes later for kicking out at Escalante. The end of the first half saw the derby nature of the match boil over, with plenty of shoving from both sides exciting the crowd but frustrating the officials. San Antonio was agonizingly close to an equalizer in the 54th minute when Cesar Elizondo got on the end of a corner kick, only for Justin Bilyeu to head it off the line. The Toros should have doubled their lead in the 79th minute when TJ Casner forced Restrepo off his line and shot only for Sebastian Ibeagha to clear off the line, but Escalante's goal stood as the winner as RGVFC earned some revenge for its defeat earlier this season to its rivals.
17’ – RGV – Jose Escalante (Justin Bilyeu)
Three Things That Matter:
1. San Antonio was unable to come from behind yet again this season, having only managed to win after conceding the first goal once this season. That win came against Real Monarchs, on Sept. 2 and since then SAFC has only won once more to slip to third place in the USL Western Conference.
2. RGVFC won its second match in a row, just the third time this season the Toros have won consecutive matches. It is the first time since the Toros' 1-0 win against the Swope Park Rangers on May 13th the side has managed back-to-back wins to keep its slim chances of a return to the postseason alive.
3. Saturday night's loss saw San Antonio suffer consecutive defeats for the first time this season as its late-season struggles continue. The result also ended an undefeated home record this season for SAFC, which had gone 6-0-6 prior to Saturday night's game and hadn't suffered defeat overall at Toyota Field in more than a year.
Jose Escalante, Rio Grande Valley FC – Escalante scored the game-winner with an exquisite chip over the goalkeeper that stood through the match. Escalante was routinely making runs through the San Antonio defense, proving to be a constant thorn in the side of SAFC and a vital part of the win.
San Antonio FC vs. Tulsa Roughnecks – September 30, 8 p.m. ET, ONEOK Field
Rio Grande Valley FC vs. Swope Park Rangers – September 30, 8:30 p.m. ET, H-E-B Park