OKLAHOMA CITY – Marcus Epps scored the only goal as San Antonio FC took a 1-0 victory against OKC Energy FC on Sunday evening at Taft Stadium as the visitors dominated much of the contest but had to hold off a pair of late chances by Energy FC to secure all three points.
Aiming to close the gap to second-placed Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in the Mountain Division, San Antonio opened the game on the front foot as Epps had a long-range effort that was saved by OKC goalkeeper CJ Cochran. Epps had another chance in the 16th minute as Connor Maloney found enough space to drive a cross through the six-yard area from the left but a high hop off the turf made it difficult for Epps to control his finish as it went over the crossbar.
Epps continued to look dangerous for the visitors and just before the half-hour mark he released Maloney down the left before moving into the penalty area for a return cross that he headed wide of the right post. SAFC’s Jose Gallegos also threatened a minute before halftime as he turned over possession in the OKC half but had his shot blocked away by Mitchell Osmond.
San Antonio continued to carry its attacking impetus into the second half, and just past the hour-mark Gallegos created space on the left for a cross to the near post that was headed wide of the left post by Justin Dhillon. In the 66th minute, however, Epps made the breakthrough he’d threatened as he ran onto a flicked pass over the back line by Dhillon into the right channel and after driving into the penalty area cut past one defender before shooting into the right side of the net.
Energy FC had difficulty creating chances for much of the match, but in the closing stages the hosts had a pair of chances to level. The first came in the 89th minute as Arun Basuljevic received a flicked pass by Seyi Adekoya at the top-right edge of the penalty area from where he fired a shot that clipped the crossbar and went behind for a goal kick. Then in stoppage time SAFC goalkeeper Matt Cardone was called on to make his lone save of the game when Villyan Bijev found space in the left side of the penalty area for a near-post shot that Cardone parried behind. The visitors saw out the win, though, continue on its path to the postseason.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Marcus Epps, San Antonio FC – Epps was the brightest attacking option on the field for the visitors, finishing with five shots and one key pass, and was rewarded with the winner in a key win for SAFC.
SA – Marcus Epps (Justin Dhillon) 66’