Photo courtesy Darren Abate / San Antonio FC
SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio FC got a nine-save shutout from goalkeeper Diego Restrepo as it took a 1-0 victory against Sacramento Republic FC before a crowd of 6,613 fans at Toyota Field on Saturday night. Sacramento had the first good chance of the night in the 18th minute as a low cross by Wilson Kneeshaw from the right deflected to Jaime Villarreal at the top of the penalty area, but his finish curled just wide of the top-right corner. The visitors went close again 15 minutes later as a cross by Elliott Hord from the right found a late-arriving Jure Matujasic at the back post for a first-time finish that SAFC goalkeeper Diego Restrepo clawed away, but Sacramento goalkeeper Josh Cohen also came up big in the 37th minute as San Antonio’s Jose Escalante drove forward in the left channel before firing a good shot toward the right corner. SAFC took the lead just before the break, however, as a chipped pass by Ethan Bryant release Cesar Elizondo in behind the defense, and the Costa Rican forward finished well to put the hosts ahead. Matjasic forced another good save by Restrepo in the 56th minute as the SAFC goalkeeper parried away his shot after a good low cross by Villyan Bijev, and with 20 minutes to go Restrepo was at it again as he denied a point-blank redirection from Cameron Iwasa to keep San Antonio ahead. Sacramento continued to push for a late equalizer as Bijev fired a shot that was turned aside by Restrepo with four minutes to go, but a late headed block by Ryan Roushandel on a shot by Luis Espino in the third minute of stoppage time proved the last chance for Sacramento to find the net as San Antonio snuck away with victory.
43’ – SA – Cesar Elizondo (Ethan Bryant)
Three Things That Matter:
1. If you hadn’t known, you’d have been mistaken for thinking that Sacramento was the home side on Saturday night as Republic FC dominated much of the contest, but another remarkable display by San Antonio FC goalkeeper Diego Restrepo saw Sacramento’s consistent pressure come to naught as the actual hosts claimed a second consecutive big victory on home turf. The reigning USL Goalkeeper of the Year had a vintage night in recording a nine-save shutout to lead his side to victory.
2. As much as it might have seemed that way, San Antonio’s defensive display wasn’t a one-man show as the experience of center back Cyprian Hedrick also came to the fore with five of the club’s eight blocked shots on the night as he worked diligently to keep Sacramento off the board. Hedrick’s performance could easily be overshadowed by the display that Restrepo put on, but it’s unlikely San Antonio’s defense holds up as well as it did on the night without the Cameroonian’s efforts.
3. As well as Sacramento played throughout the contest, coming away with nothing after dominating in the manner Republic FC did could be deflating for the side as it returns to California. With Wednesday night bringing a massive Round of 16 clash with Los Angeles FC in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, Republic FC Head Coach Simon Elliott could have work to do to make sure his side is in the right frame of mind for one of its biggest games of the season.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Diego Restrepo, San Antonio FC – Restrepo’s nine-save shutout equaled the most saves in a single-game by a goalkeeper this season and allowed the hosts to claim all three points.
San Antonio FC vs. Reno 1868 FC – June 23, 8:30 p.m. ET, Toyota Field
Sacramento Republic FC vs. Saint Louis FC – June 23, 11 p.m. ET, Papa Murphy’s Park