San Antonio FC (0-1-0) fell to Sacramento Republic FC (1-0-0) at Papa Murphy’s Park on Saturday night in the clubs’ first match of the 2018 USL season. A goal from midfielder Mikey Lopez and four saves from goalkeeper Diego Restrepo were not enough to salvage a point on the road.
“Our guys fought very hard until the final whistle and the final chance of the game,” SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell said. “When you play Sacramento, it’s always going to be very difficult. It’s a hard place to earn points and tonight we fell a little bit short.”
Sacramento opened the scoring just before the halftime whistle after midfielder Keven Aleman capitalized on a through-ball from teammate Cameron Iwasa and beat SAFC goalkeeper Diego Restrepo with a high shot for the 1-0 lead.
The hosts added a second goal just three minutes into the second half after forward Christian Eissele cleaned up a rebound inside the SAFC box following a save from Restrepo.
San Antonio FC midfielder Mikey Lopez then narrowed the deficit in the 68th minute after a shot from midfielder Connor Presley bounced off the woodwork and made its way to defender Darnell King at the top of the box. King played a square pass to Lopez at the edge of the area, from where the Texas native finessed the ball past goalkeeper Josh Cohen.
The goal marked the first for Lopez in his SAFC debut, as well as King’s first assist for the Alamo City club. SAFC is now 2-1-0 all-time in USL season openers, all of which the club has played on the road.
San Antonio FC will return to USL action on Saturday, March 24 as they host Saint Louis FC at Toyota Field in their 2018 home opener, presented by H-E-B. SAFC went 1-1-0 against STL FC during the 2016 season prior to the Saint Louis’ move to the USL Eastern Conference for the 2017 campaign.
Republic FC: 1-0, Kevin Aleman (Cameron Iwasa assist) 45’
Republic FC: 2-0, Christian Eissele 48’
SAFC: 2-1, Mikey Lopez (Darnell King assist) 68’
SAFC: Yellow Card (Diego Restrepo 5’)
SAFC: Yellow Card (Ever Guzman 38’)
SAFC: Yellow Card (Pecka 72’)
Republic FC: Yellow Card (Jeremy Hall 76’)
Republic FC: Yellow Card (Kevin Aleman 77’)
SAFC: Yellow Card (Mikey Lopez 82’)
SAFC Starting XI: GK: Diego Restrepo; D: Darnell King, Ryan Felix, Chris Christian, Greg Cochrane (Alex Bruce 83’); M: Pecka, Mikey Lopez, Kris Tyrpak, Ryan Roushandel (c) (Presley 64’); Omar Gordon (Maxi Rodriguez 79’); F: Ever Guzman
Substitutions Not Used: Matt Cardone, Cyprian Hedrick, Mike Seth, Gianluca Cuomo