San Antonio FC earned a 1-0 win against Phoenix Rising FC at Toyota Field in front of 7,414 fans to remain undefeated in 2017. A goal from AJ Ajeakwa was enough to earn the club a point at home, extending their unbeaten streak to 10 matches.
“Teams are going to come in and have a game plan, and we have to try to counteract that,” SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell said. “We know we have a group of players that can play a variety of different ways. Getting that first goal was very valuable for us tonight.”
The lone goal of the match came in the 12th minute when midfielder Billy Forbes dribbled past two defenders and found Kris Tyrpak on the wing. Tyrpak played a square ball across the box to find Ajeakwa, who buried it from point-blank range past goalkeeper Josh Cohen for the 1-0 lead.
“It was a good fight tonight,” Ajeakwa said. “Phoenix has a lot of talented players and it was a battle all around in every position, but we worked hard as a team and at the end of the day, we won as a team.”
The goal marks Ajeakwa’s second for the club after scoring his first on April 25 at Seattle Sounders FC 2, as well as Tyrpak’s first assist of the season.
San Antonio FC goalkeeper Diego Restrepo recorded his fourth consecutive clean sheet of the season, and now leads the USL in shutouts after just six appearances and five starts for the Alamo City club. San Antonio FC now leads the USL with seven clean sheets overall.
SAFC midfielder Devin Vega recorded his second start of the season and first at Toyota Field, while midfielder Mark O’Ojong made his club debut in USL play.
San Antonio FC remains at the top of the Western Conference with 26 points, and has now scored 20 goals while conceding just four this season. The club will return to action on the road on Friday, May 26 at Swope Park Rangers.
SAFC: 1-0, AJ Ajeakwa (Kris Tyrpak assist) 12’
Phoenix: Yellow Card (Kody Wakasa) 39’
Phoenix: Yellow Card (Omar Bravo) 73’
SAFC: Yellow Card (Stephen McCarthy) 90’
SAFC Starting XI: GK: Diego Restrepo; D: Ben Newnam, Sebasiten Ibeagha, Stephen McCarthy, Greg Cochrane; M: Pecka, Michael Reed (c), Devin Vega (Shawn Chin 84’), Kris Tyrpak (Mark O’Ojong 75’), Billy Forbes; F: AJ Ajeakwa (Aly Alberto Hassan 78’)
Substitutions Not Used: Lee Johnston, Cyprian Hedrick, Maxi Rodriguez , Rafa Castillo