Photo courtesy Rio Grande Valley FC
EDINBURG, Texas – Rio Grande Valley FC and San Antonio FC played to a 0-0 draw at H-E-B Park on Saturday night in the first South Texas Derby of the season. The Toros opened the game brightly, and Aldo Quintanilla forced a good save from SAFC’s Diego Restrepo in the sixth minute with a shot from just inside the penalty area. Jesus Enriquez also went close early for the hosts as Restrepo went at full-stretch to turn wide his curling shot toward the right corner, and Nicolas Perea had back-to-back chances from distance that saw Restrepo save the first and the second flash just wide. Toros midfielder Todd Wharton also almost caught out Restrepo with a floated free kick from long range that the SAFC goalkeeper had to tip over the crossbar. SAFC’s Darnell King had a chance for the visitors in first-half stoppage time as Sonny Guadarrama played a clever lifted through back, but the defender was unable to make clean contact. Both SAFC’s Greg Cochrane and Wharton just missed the target with long-range shots for their respective sides in the second half as the game remained scoreless, and that would be the way it ended as neither was able to break the deadlock.
Three Things That Matter:
1. The first South Texas Derby of the season ended all square as the Toros were turned away by a five-save shutout by San Antonio goalkeeper Diego Restrepo after a display that saw the hosts look the more likely of the teams to walk away with victory. Coming off a midweek game in California, the Toros showed admirable energy as they peppered Restrepo’s goal with shots in the first half but were forced to settle for a point for the second time this week thanks to outstanding saves by Restrepo against Jesus Enriquez and Todd Wharton.
2. All eyes were on San Antonio’s Jose Escalante as he returned to face his former club, but the Toros defense definitely claimed the upper hand in the one-on-one matchups over the course of the game as Escalante was held without a shot or a key pass offensively and was consistently beaten out for possession as he won only seven of 22 duels. RGVFC’s Omar Ontiveros in particular put in a strong shift on the back line, winning 15 of 16 duels to help keep SAFC and the Toros’ former dangerman off the board.
3. San Antonio saw its two-game winning streak come to an end in South Texas and will likely be happy to come away with a point from a game the Toros will feel they probably should have won. While it’s a result that sees SAFC tread water in the Western Conference standings, the side gets to return home next Saturday night for a visit from Tulsa Roughnecks FC that it will hope can allow a return to form and a continued push up the table.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Todd Wharton, Rio Grande Valley FC – Wharton finished with four key passes, and almost found the game-winner himself as the Toros held the upper hand for much of the night.
Rio Grande Valley FC vs. Swope Park Rangers – May 19, 8:30 p.m. ET, H-E-B Park
San Antonio FC vs. Tulsa Roughnecks FC – May 19, 8:30 p.m. ET, Toyota Field