San Diego Loyal come back from 3-0 deficit to gain improbable 3-3 draw at San Antonio

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SD Loyal vs San Antonio 2023
Credit: San Diego Loyal

The chants of “Jordan Farr doo-doo-doo-doo” must be ringing in the heads of Evan Conway, Ronaldo Damus, and the rest of the San Diego Loyal offense after the game on Saturday, June 3, against San Antonio FC. Despite the terrific performance by the San Antonio goalkeeper, San Diego was able to score in this game and come back from a huge deficit that was accumulated in just 16 minutes of play.

San Antonio top-goalscorer Tani Oluwaseyi opened the scoring just three minutes into the match, as he was able to head the ball spectacularly into the back of the net off a cross by Mitchell Taintor. Two minutes after the initial goal, Rida Zouhir scored off a direct free kick to Duran Michael Ferree’s net. The ball bounced before landing in the back of the net, as Ferree still has a lot to learn at just 16 years old.

Ferree showcased his inexperience in the third goal of the night as well; the goal came off another set piece by Rida Zouhir. Zouhir sent the ball into the penalty area, Ferree tried to get to the ball much too far out, and that cost the Loyal, as it allowed San Antonio to get to the ball on the rebound and Taintor to finish the opportunity inside of the penalty area.

San Antonio star player Tani Oluwaseyi was given a red card for arguing with the referee in just the 20th minute of the match, as this gave San Diego a man advantage early in the match. the southern California team was unable to do much with the man advantage in the remainder of the first half, as Nate Miller clearly had to make some substitutions at halftime.

Miller made four total substitutions after the first 45 minutes, as Camden Riley, Ronaldo Damus, Tumi Moshobane, and Adrien Perez replaced Jackson Kasanzu, Elliott Collier, Joe Corona, and Blake Bodily. The Loyal were forced to come out with a very aggressive approach in the second half that did not really see much effect until the final 30 minutes of the match.

San Diego really tested Jordan Farr, and the crowd chants by San Antonio fans were heard frequently in the closing minutes. The Loyal were finally able to get past Farr in the 75th minute when Ronaldo Damus made it a 3-1 game with a magnificent strike from outside of the box. Evan Conway then made it extremely interesting in the 79th minute with a goal off a towering header from a perfect cross by Alejandro Guido.

Jordan Farr kept on performing after the two goals, and when the game seemed destined to end in a 3-2 win for San Antonio, Ronaldo Damus came in to tie it up with his second goal of the night in stoppage time. Damus scored with a header from a cross by Morgan Hackworth, who was a late substitution that replaced Grant Stoneman in the 88th minute.

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Nick Moon was sent off shortly after the goal because of an altercation between both teams by the benches. The expulsion came at a very unfortunate time, with the game in its final seconds, as it ended 3-3 at Toyota Field.

The game was not the prettiest by the Loyal, as there were plenty of miscues by Duran Ferree and the San Diego backline, especially on set pieces. The finishing has also been a major problem for the Loyal in a couple of games now, as Jordan Farr and Oakland’s Paul Blanchette were both able to come away with significant performances against San Diego. However, it is a confidence booster for the team with the way it ended, coming back from a 3-0 deficit on the road.

The Loyal will return home, as this match signified the end of a three-game road trip for the team, who will host Sacramento Republic at USD Stadium on Friday, June 9. After this result, San Diego is in fourth place with 21 points at the time of writing.

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