San Antonio FC midfielder Jack Barmby lined up a free-kick with five minutes plus stoppages to go in last Saturday’s game in OKC. With his team down 1-0, Barmby knew he needed to either make a good connection to hit a shot on target, or to serve a great ball in to one of his teammates to give them a chance to score. Being confident and composed, Barmby went for goal and his shot sailed just over the opponent’s crossbar. Despite the miss, this shot would end up paying off in a bigger way than expected at the time.
The England native entered the game against OKC as San Antonio’s leader in chances created while he also ranked second on the team with four goals in all competitions. Barmby had appeared in 14 matches, playing 1,246 minutes in the regular season thus far, and the left-footed player had also added two assists and 16 tackles.
After Barmby’s teammate Matthew Cardone had saved one Energy FC penalty kick in the first half, the San Antonio native was once again faced with the same task in the second. This time, Energy midfielder Rafael Garcia made no mistake and gave OKC the 1-0 lead in the 55th minute. For the next 40-odd minutes in the match, SAFC was attempting to find an equalizer that could potentially earn them their first road point of 2019. Midfielder Jose Gallegos – who had come on as a second-half substitute – came close with a couple of shots. But eventually in the 85th minute, Barmby would line up for that set piece that looked to be in a promising position.
Although he missed it, the situation prepared him for his next opportunity, which would actually come just six minutes later. In the first minute of stoppage time and with SAFC still down a goal, San Antonio earned a free kick almost in the exact same position that Barmby had shot from minutes earlier. This time – after already seeing what a shot from this distance would take to go in – Barmby struck the set piece perfectly, and the dipping bending ball found the corner of the net to give SAFC the equalizer and first road point they so passionately sought.
“At that point in the game, you have nothing to lose,” Barmby said after the game against OKC. “I learned from my mistake earlier in the game where I didn’t quite get my body over the ball, and the second one I did, so it was nice that it went in.”
SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell talked postgame of how Barmby hit the free-kick ‘very sweetly’ and along with a penalty save from Cardone and a strong team performance, how his side were deserving of the point on the road if not more. Barmby was named the SWBC Man of the Match in the game, and the club hopes he and the rest of his teammates can carry this momentum into Fresno this Friday as they take on the Foxes for the first time of the season.