Photo courtesy Christian Inoferio / Rio Grande Valley FC
EDINBURG, Texas – After fighting out what seemed to headed for a scoreless draw, Rio Grande Valley FC and Saint Louis FC fired in the final 20 minutes, but canceled each other out in a 1-1 draw at H-E-B Park to open the 2018 USL season. A tense game was finally broken open in the 77th minute as the Toros took the lead when John Montano squared the ball in for Pablo Aguilar who turned well, shooting it past Jake Fenlason for his first professional goal, and the first of the USL season. Just five minutes later Saint Louis equalized as Tony Walls was able to tap home the rebound, as RGVFC failed to react quick enough off a corner kick, setting up a thrilling finish. Both goalkeepers impressed in the earlier stages of the match with Saint Louis' Fenlason regularly called into action and Toros' goalkeeper Nico Corti making impressive saves on his professional debut, both playing a significant role in the result.
77’ – RGV – Pablo Aguilar (John Montano)
82’ – STL – Tony Walls
#RGVvSTL: Full Match and Opta Box Score
Three Things That Matter:
1. Rio Grande Valley had the bulk of the chances in the match with nine shots, five of them on target. The Toros threatened Fenlason with now two shots coming from the same location, something which will please Head Coach Gerson Echeverry and the fans.
2. Saint Louis FC didn’t need many chances to get the equalizing goal, and that was in large part due to its work in the air. Saint Louis dominated the aerial duels, winning 63.9 percent of those, crucial in such a tight match.
3. Neither side ventured offside much in the match, with just one offside called over the 90 minutes. That created a fast pace that was able to hold up even in the second half as there were few stoppages to slow the match down, forcing the teams to play with the ball to try and force the defense forward.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Pablo Aguilar, Rio Grande Valley FC – On his professional debut Aguilar scored the first goal of the season and was a big part of the Toros attack, managing an 88 percent passing accuracy.
Rio Grande Valley FC vs. Reno 1868 FC – March 28, 11:00a.m. ET, H-E-B Park
Saint Louis FC vs. San Antonio FC – March 24, 8:30p.m. ET, Toyota Field