The Las Vegas Lights have not lost at home this season and Cal Jennings scored his third goal for the club when they tied 1-1 against San Antonio on Friday at Cashman Field.
Lights FC had one early defensive failure but were otherwise in control of the game, and while they could undoubtedly use the win, the draw was a solid result considering they were in danger of losing that night.
Steve Cerundolo started all eight LAFC loans for Las Vegas.
San Antonio scored, in fact, their first forward foray of the game: Joaquin Varela scored from a corner in the 9th minute, the Lights defenders left Varela unmarked when the ball landed on him.
Alvaro Quesada made an accurate shot in the 16th minute, his shot from a distance was blocked by the goalkeeper of “San Antonio” Matt Cardone.
Cal Jennings nearly scored a goal in the 24th minute for Las Vegas when Bryce Duke passed him unattended, but Jennings appeared to have stopped Cardone’s shot.
Las Vegas played better and better throughout the first half, and in the end, San Antonio really got on their heels before half-time. But they did not manage to equalize, and the teams left for a break, and San Antonio took the lead 1: 0.
Christian Torres, who had a quiet first half, lost to Roberto Molina at half-time, the first change in the Las Vegas game.
As Las Vegas continued to shoot on goal, San Antonio got better possession in the second half and the Lights became more difficult to maintain possession. Cerundolo brought Julian Vasquez out in the 66th minute in place of Frank Darom, who had another tough midfield change. It seemed that Vasquez had come in to provide more attacking intent for Las Vegas. After entering the field, Vasquez distinguished himself with one timer, but his blow went just above the target.
Mamadou Fall, who made his debut on loan at LAFC, left the game in the 79th minute for CC Uche.
Immediately after that, Molina played a huge role, realizing the penalty after a foul by Ollie Wright. Jennings stepped forward to shoot a penalty and scored 1-1 in the 82nd minute.
Jordan Perruzza nearly scored for San Antonio in the 86th minute, but his swift counterattack, which sparked a Las Vegas fight, came on the wrong side of the near post.
All in all, it was a solid result for Las Vegas. They show their youth from time to time, but they seem to be finding their sea legs as a group and I think the lineup changes they have made in recent games, especially on defense, are starting to bear fruit. Jennings is clearly a cut above this level, and as a whole the team is starting to unite and find a rhythm. This is good news for the development team, which will have the majority of the season ahead.
Las Vegas is due to return to service on Wednesday when they encounter Los Angeles Galaxy II in Carson for the second meeting of the season. Los Dos definitely had a Las Vegas number the first time around, but Lights FC is hoping for a better result for the second time.
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