San Diego Loyal defeat top seed San Antonio FC 3-0

Credit: SD Loyal

Credit: SD Loyal

The Loyal win the biggest match of the season to date as they score three second half goals

The San Diego Loyal brought the heat to Torero Stadium Saturday night. In what was supposed to be a close battle, San Diego scored three second half goals to take down the top-ranked San Antonio FC.

This was the best possible outcome for the Loyal.

Manager Landon Donovan issued a 4-4-2 formation to start with Koke Vegas in goal. Evan Conway and Thomas Among both started as the two forwards with Kyle Vassell and Tumi Moshobane as substitutes to start the match.

The match had barely got started and Alejandro Guido was hit with an early yellow card, resulting in about a 3-4 minute delay with an injury to a SA player.

Credit: SD Loyal

The first half started slow. With the talent on both sides, it was not easy to create many chances. The first shot of the match for the Loyal didn’t come until the 23rd minute.

However, that didn’t last long. The Loyal found their rhythm and kept attacking the SA secondary. A goal didn’t come, but the Loyal attempted three more shots in about a 10 minute span with none on target.

The first half ended scoreless. The Loyal dominated possession but most of it was in their own half. It seemed like neither side wanted to make a mistake and that’s how a majority of the first half was played. San Diego ended the half with an 82% passing percentage and just under 70% of possession.

The second half started the same way. Neither side was really aggressive as no-one wanted to make a mistake.

Moshobane and Vassell subbed in around the 60th minute as Donovan tried to get late offense in the match.

And what do you know, the Loyal finally scored! Evan Conway knocked in the rebound goal after the initial save from Jordan Farr.

San Diego took the lead 1-0 in the 65th minute.

There was life at Torero Stadium! The supporters were on their feet cheering as loud as it has been all season long.

Less than eight minutes later, the Loyal scored once again by a header from Grant Stoneman. Alejandro Guido assisted to take a 2-0 lead in the 72nd minute.

Before the fans could stop celebrating the second goal of the match, Vassell wanted in on the fun and drilled a goal for himself. He sent it past the diving keeper which resulted in a 3-0 lead in the 77th minute.

The Loyal ran away with this match.

Donovan shared his thoughts about the win.

“It’s really hard to defend us for 90 minutes and we made the game the way we wanted,” Donovan said. “Over 90 minutes we were just too much for them.”

As a result of this match, the Loyal have now surpassed their goal total from 2021 … in 10 fewer matches. They have also won four straight matches for the first time as a club.

“We just have better players first of all,” Donovan said. “We create a decent number of chances each game but now we have the players who can finish the plays off. That makes you seem like a great coach when guys score goals and right now our guys are hitting the net. There is a friendly competition going on within the guys on who can score the most goals and that has helped us thrive.”

The next match for the Loyal is on a short week. This Wednesday night, August 10 the Loyal will host Monterey Bay Union FC for the first-ever matchup between the two new clubs.

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Chris Spiering
Chris is a graduate of the University of San Diego. He is the former Sports Editor for the USDVista newspaper. Chris is also an athlete and is huge fan of San Diego sports. Chris has covered the San Diego Loyal, and contributes regularly about the Padres.
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