USL Rewind: San Antonio win is tale of two penalties

Keeper Matt Cardone’s save of a penalty kick inspired San Antonio FC, which converted a PK of its own and added a stoppage-time goal to defeat Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2, 2-0, Saturday at Toyota Field.

USL: Week 15 Results

Cardone’s stop of Kyle Greig’s attempt following a foul on Marco Bustos sent the teams into the locker room at 0-0, and SAFC took the lead in the 64th minute after Michael Reed drew a PK and Rafael Castillo crashed it into the net. Frank Tayou’s goal iced a victory in stoppage time that extended SAFC’s unbeaten streak to six games and pushed it into eighth place in the Western Conference at 6-5-6 (24 points). VWFC2 is tied for the conference lead with LA Galaxy II at 9-4-5 (32 pts.).

A San Antonio native who played his college ball at Trinity, Cardone will keep his spot for at least the next two games while starter Josh Ford is serving a suspension. Cardone played last year for the NASL San Antonio Scorpions, which eased operations in December.

USL Standings:
EASTERN CONFERENCE:
Louisville City 42 points; NY Red Bulls II 38; FC Cincinnati 34; Charleston 32; Richmond 26; Charlotte 25; Bethlehem Steel, Orlando City B 24; Wilmington 23; Toronto FC 19; Harrisburg 17; Pittsburgh 10; FC Montreal 7.
WESTERN CONFERENCE: Whitecaps FC 2, LA Galaxy II 32 points; Colorado Springs 30; Sac Republic FC 29; OKC Energy FC, Rio Grande Valley FC 28; San Antonio FC 24; Saint Louis FC 23; Real Monarchs, Orange County 22; Swope Park Rangers 21; Sounders FC 2 20; Timbers 2, Arizina United 18; Tulsa 15.
  REVENGE FOR RED BULLS II. Only one team has beaten Red Bulls II this season and by posting a 2-1 defeat of the Independence in Charlotte it dished out some payback for that setback.

Dan Metzger notched the winner from a corner kick in the second half to decide a match that started more an hour late due to a weather delay. Fifteen minutes after kickoff Stefano Bonomo got to the back post and headed home a cross from Florian Valot. Charlotte equalized four minutes into the second half when Enzo Martinez forced a turnover and fed the ball for Brian Brown to cross and Jun Marques Davidson to head into the net.

Metzger scored the winner after Brown had been sent off for a bad slide tackle yet Charlotte almost re-tied the game with 18 minutes to play when Shane Johnson’s shot struck the crossbar. Red Bulls II (11-1-5, 38 pts.) held on to keep up the pressure on leader Louisville City FC, which has a four-point lead. Charlotte (7-6-4, 25 pts.) is seventh, just one point ahead of Bethlehelm Steel FC and Orlando City B.   GREER’S FIRST GOAL LIFTS SWITCHBACKS. In what was a battle of goalkeepers for much of the match, J.J. Greer got the only goal to propel Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC past Sacramento Republic FC on the scoreboard (1-0) as well as the Western Conference standings.

Greer headed home a corner kick from Josh Suggs with six minutes remaining for his first goal of the season. Until then, goalies Evan Newton (Sacramento) and Devala Gorrick (Colorado) had supplied most of the heroics, though a goal-line clearance by Danny Barrera had rescued Newton on one occasion.

With the win, Colorado (9-5-3, 30 pts.) jumps over Sacramento (8-5-5, 29 pts.) into third place and it also holds a game in hand.
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