Ivan Uses His Head
Saturday’s match was an eventful one for RGVFC and Phoenix Rising FC. There were two red cards, both to Phoenix, a penalty kick awarded, also to Phoenix, and a stoppage time equalizer, that went to RGV.
The story of the first half was Borja Angoitia’s reflex saves and a questionable penalty decision. Angoitia made a couple remarkable stops to keep Rising FC off the board. Unfortunately, they were awarded a penalty when the referee determined Taylor Hunter had committed a handball in the area. Replays seemed to indicate he turned his back to the play and kept his arms as close to his body as possible, but the foul was called. Jason Johnson scored and that would hold until past the 90th minute.
The Toros dominated possession, 69%-31%, and that only increased after Phoenix had two players sent off for rough challenges. But, it wasn’t until stoppage time that they made their advantage count. An aerial pass from Jorginho James towards Ivan Magalhaes deflected out towards Todd Wharton. The University of Virginia product was able to head it back towards Magalhaes, who nodded home his second career goal for the Toros.
Dynamo Theory’s Man of the Match Ivan Magalhaes: One of the best performances of the center back’s two year stint with the Toros. He led a strong defensive effort to limit Phoenix to a goal, only off a PK, and scored the massive equalizer.
Borja Angoitia: The performance of the season for the Spanish goalkeeper. He made some massive saves to keep the Toros in the match.
Todd Wharton: His distribution was top class in the midfield. He connected on 87% of his 54 passes. Wharton also headed the ball to Magalhaes for the match winner.
Ivan Magalhaes on if this was the biggest goal of his career:
“I would not say this is the biggest goal because I have scored some other goals at the developmental level in Brazil and also in college that were very important... but at the professional level yes, this goal was very special because our team did not deserve to lose and we fought until the last second of the match.”
The Good Guys: Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (7-10-5)
Things aren’t all sunshine and rainbows, but they are definitely trending upwards for the Toros. They’ve now extended an unbeaten streak to three matches. Borja showcased his skills in goal after a run of starts for Marco Carducci, follow by Calle Brown. He should get a few matches to build momentum now.
Jose Escalante continues to be a spark plug for the attack, as well as Joseph Holland. Todd Wharton is growing into the lead passer role in the midfield and Justin Bilyeu has been a welcome addition.
What’s important now is that the club keeps this going. They need to build on the excitement of three straight matches with late game heroics. It’s not too late to secure a playoff spot, but the Toros can’t fall into another lengthy funk.
The Bad Guys: Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 (4-12-6)
These clubs met a couple weeks back in a midweek matinee fixture. It ended level, with RGV converted two PKs in the second half to square the match at 3. Since then, Whitecaps 2 has been shut out in two straight losses. Both of those matches came on the road, where they’ve only won a pair of matches all season. The Toros will be hoping that trend continues on Saturday.
The Dirty Details:
8/19 at 7:30 PM CST
RGVFC Toros vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2
Watch it live HERE or in person at H-E-B Park