EDINBURG, TEXAS (March 16, 2018) – Rio Grande Valley FC drew Saint Louis FC 1-1 in a sweltering 2018 USL opener on Friday night at H-E-B Park. Pablo Aguilar and Tony Walls scored the goals for their teams.
Saint Louis FC Draw 1-1 in 2018 USL Opener at RGVFC
The first half wasn’t the most exciting or well played. Both teams felt each other out and had trouble with the field, which seemed slippery in certain areas. The Toros has the better of the chances, outshooting Saint Louis 5-1, but no team could find the back of the net.
The best chance of the half came in the 13th minute when Guillermo Delgado got on the end of a long pass after Tony Walls slipped at the top of the box. Delgado’s shot was deflected and went out of play just wide of the post. STLFC got a few late chances on corners, mostly trying to find Christian Volesky. The half ended 0-0.
In the second half, things started to open up more as both sides got chances in transition and on set pieces. Corey Hertzog had a great chance in the 70th minute with a blast from 10 yards outside the box. Nicolas Corti made the diving save.
The match heated up in the final minutes. First Pablo Aguilar scored in front of goal in transition in the 77th minute. Just five minutes later, Tony Walls cleaned up a rebound off the crossbar in an STLFC corner tie it up. The match ended 1-1.
Things to take note of:
Preseason form and field: The field conditions weren’t great at H-E-B Park. Players slipped, lost their footing, and created divots early and late. Both teams were clearly in their first game, as offensive ideas were lacking at times. The conditions didn’t help, as the officials had hydration breaks in both halves. Kick off temperature was nearly 90 F.
Physical play: This match had some chippy play in it. Volesky had a long sliding tackle into the goal keeper way after the ball got there, but was not carded. Pablo Aguilar and Wall Fall were both given yellow cards for physical play in the second half. I though the officials were fair but a bit lenient.
Defensive break downs: Both goals were scored off collective defensive failures. STLFC were caught in transition and no one pressured the pass nor marked Aguilar on the first goal. On the STLFC goal, the cross was fed inside the six. A Saint Louis attacker got a clean header to it, unchallenged, then Tony Walls cleaned up the rebound again before the keeper or a defender could get to it.