Photo courtesy Darren Abate / San Antonio FC
SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio FC moved into second place in the USL Western Conference with a 2-1 victory against the Portland Timbers 2 on Wednesday night in front of a crowd of 6,069 fans at Toyota Field. Portland had an early chance, but Gio Calixtro sent a central free kick from 25 yards over the crossbar, but San Antonio took the lead in the 16th minute as a near-post cross from the left by Billy Forbes found Ever Guzman for a good headed finish. T2 almost hit back immediately as Max Ornstill took a good pass to break into the penalty area only to fire wide of the left post, but 10 minutes before halftime Bill Tuiloma tucked home a free header from Renzo Zambrano to level the score. Portland went close to taking the lead in the 65th minute when Carlos Anguiano curled a shot from 20 yards over the top-left corner of the net, while SAFC’s Michael Reed froze the goalkeeper on a free kick from 20 yards as he just missed the bottom-left corner three minutes later. San Antonio regained the lead with 19 minutes to go as a long-range shot by Reed deflected to Guzman, and after having his angle narrowed cut the ball back for Ryan Roushandel to put home a finish into the top-left corner. Portland tried to rally as Zambrano shot over from long range with nine minutes to go, and a late scramble in the penalty area saw Augustine Williams first have his shot blocked, and Ornstil another smothered. San Antonio would then see out the victory, moving it past Reno 1868 FC into pole position for the No. 2-seed in the Western Conference Playoffs.
16’ – SA – Ever Guzman (Billy Forbes)
35’ – POR – Bill Tuiloma (Renzo Zambrano)
71’ – SA – Ryan Roushandel (Ever Guzman)
Three Things That Matter:
1. The connection between Billy Forbes and Ever Guzman earned San Antonio a point against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday night, and the duo connected again to open the scoring against Portland as the new forward continued to jell with the other attacking options in SAFC’s lineup. For a side that has scored multiple goals in only three of its previous 12 games – including a two-goal game in its 5-2 defeat to the Swope Park Rangers last month – Guzman providing an added spark in attack could make the difference when the playoffs arrive.
2. San Antonio had to work for its win on Wednesday night against T2, and was the beneficiary of a very good piece of fortune for its second goal as Michael Reed’s errant shot deflected to Guzman off a defender to set up the opportunity. That kind break was a big one for SAFC, who now sit in second place in the Western Conference going to the final game of the regular season knowing a win against Rio Grande Valley FC will earn it the No. 2-seed ahead of Reno 1868 FC.
3. For every good break that happens for one team, the flipside occurs for the other, and San Antonio’s game-winner on Wednesday night was another tough moment in a season of them for T2. Portland once again put in a good enough performance to think it could have taken something from the game, but the side’s lack of end product in the final third ended up costing the side when an unlucky deflection went against it.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Ever Guzman, San Antonio FC – Guzman notched a goal and assist to lead SAFC to a crucial victory in its pursuit of a top-two finish in the USL Western Conference.
San Antonio FC vs. Rio Grande Valley FC – October 14, 8:30 p.m. ET, Toyota Field
Portland Timbers 2 at Phoenix Rising FC – October 14, 10:30 p.m. ET, Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex