Image: Darren Abate, USL
San Antonio FC lost 2-0 to Reno 1868 FC on Saturday night at Toyota Field. Reno extended their unbeaten streak in USL play to 12 matches, while SAFC’s only two losses in their last 11 have come against Reno.
“We can’t just let guys come into our house and do that,” said SAFC defender Darnell KIng. “Both sides got a lot of chances, obviously we threw a lot of guys forward…we have to capitalize on our chances.”
SAFC persisted with the 3-4-3 formation which has breathed new life into their season, but again they made slight changes. Most notably, King and Greg Cochrane, normally playing as defenders but getting forward in attack from time to time, were moved forward slightly to play as wing backs in midfield.
The two sides pushed back and forth in the early stages of the match but even when they got a shot off, it was usually catching practice at most for both goalkeepers. That changed in the 27th minute as Reno won a free kick a few yards outside of the 18-yard box, which midfielder Jerry Van Ewijk placed in the top corner off the underside of the crossbar and beyond the reach of goalkeeper Diego Restrepo.
SAFC reverted to their four-man backline in the second half in an attempt to quell Reno’s attack, but Reno nonetheless doubled their lead in the 70th minute. Forward Brian Brown finished off a ball squared across the face of goal from the right after playing a one-two with midfielder Antoine Hoppenot.
“When you concede a goal in the first half, you have to make some adjustments to try and get yourself back in the game,” said SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell. “Every game is slightly different; you have to play in the moment, you have to play those 90 minutes how they present themselves to you.”
While on the surface the match felt even in terms of attacking chances, Reno ended up outshooting SAFC 20-8. The home side sent a number of crosses into the box which went begging for so much as a touch, much less a lethal one.
SAFC next faces a rare away match during this stretch of the season as they travel to Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on June 30, a trip which has yielded a 1-0 loss each time SAFC has made it the last two seasons.