Facing the defending champions in the opening week of the season was always going to be a daunting task for San Antonio FC, especially with an almost completely changed squad and a new manager but the Alamo City was up to the test and came out as 1-0 winners. The win came from a picked-up second-half performance that helped the team overwhelm Real Monarchs.
While San Antonio did well in the first half and controlled much of the match there were some key improvements after Head Coach Alen Marcina’s half-time team talk which pushed the team on to get Callum Montgomery’s goal.
Some stats were pretty consistent throughout, as expected from a Marcina marshaled team the defense didn’t allow many chances, with only six total shots from the Monarchs evenly split and the team always led in possession and passing accuracy but there were some notable improvements in most statistics across the board.
The key stat that SAFC improved in the second half was their duel winning percentage, after winning only 49 percent in the first-half there was a massive improvement for the second half which saw the team win 62.5 percent of duels. That allowed San Antonio to get the first touch of the ball and control the possession, which unsurprisingly went up to 60.4 percent from 55.6 percent.
By winning the duels it allowed San Antonio FC to spend time on the ball and as a result, increase its passing accuracy. That jumped from 71.1 percent up to 76.5 percent and notably also saw a huge increase in the number of passes from 166 to 243 and still improving the quality of those passes.
Two other less significant stats had a big change in the second half. There wasn’t a single offside in the second half, but SAFC had three in the first which split up the promising plays, by remaining on they weren’t having play stopped. Secondly, SA stopped fouling players in the second half only conceding six compared to 10 in the first half, giving Real fewer chances, the defending champions not managing a shot on target all second half.
The big question in the coming weeks will be which teams can stay in form during the Coronavirus break. It may have been better if the suspension of the season happened a week earlier but no doubt SAFC will take the three points and prepare behind the scenes for when the league finally gets up and running.