RGV FC Toros unable to convert opportunities, notch scoreless draw at home against Swope Park Rangers

EDINBURG — RGV FC’s Aldo Quintanilla took possession in the midfield, dribbled around four defenders and the Swope Park keeper and looked poised to finish into the open net.

Before Quintanilla could reach the ball for his final touch, Toros midfielder Pablo Aguilar stepped in and sent a shot wide right and into the outside of the netting from about 8 yards.

The misfire was emblematic of the Toros’ effort not just on Saturday, but in recent weeks. The Toros felt they controlled the match and created opportunities, but the team never found a breakthrough. The result was a 0-0 draw against Swope Park, marking RGV’s fourth consecutive tie. Three of them have been scoreless.

“Not happy. Very dissatisfied,” RGV FC coach Gerson Echeverry said. “The game plan was pretty good. I thought that we still did a lot, and just missing opportunities that we can’t afford to miss. Unfortunately, I think we’re doing so many right things. But just that final piece. And without goals, there’s no glory.”

RGV led 16-7 in shots and 6-2 in shots on target. Swope Park held 61.8 percent of possession, but very rarely was that control dangerous.

“I think we were very well organized,” Quintanilla said in Spanish. “We had more opportunities than them. Unfortunately, we couldn’t capitalize on them. But yes, I think we were superior to them.”

The draw moves RGV FC to 1-3-6 on the season, while Swope Park is 4-2-4.

With nine points, the Toros rank 13th out of 17 teams in the USL’s Western Conference.

“Right now, I can’t say anything. They know it,” Echeverry said of his players’ mentality. “They’re not feeling all that great right now, because they feel there have just been too many games that we’ve had in hand, and we’ve given up. So beating a dead horse is not… we’ll continue working.”

The Toros’ created a strong scoring chance almost immediately, as Matias Zaldivar volleyed a cross high and wide of the net from about 10 yards in the fourth minute.

RGV also had a golden opportunity just before half, as Jesus Enriquez dribbled into the penalty area and drew a foul in the 43rd minute. After a brief hesitation on his approach, RGV FC captain Todd Wharton sent his penalty shot mostly straight on, and the try was swatted away by Swope Park keeper Eric Dick.

“It’s frustrating, because we played well, but we just can’t find the end result, which is the goal so we can get that win,” Toros defender Manny Padilla said.

Jhon Montano had the final dangerous chance for RGV in the 94th minute, but his crack at a volley from the middle of the penalty box was well high and wide of the net.

“That’s being clinical, and we’re not winning, so,” Echeverry said. “I would say the effort is there. It’s not like the guys are trying to miss, so we can’t start going crazy on them. But we just have to continue working and working on finishing.”

Swope Park created fewer chances but did generate a couple of dangerous moments. The most threatening for RGV was in the 30th minute, when Sporting Kansas City assignment player Kharlton Belmar unleashed a shot from the left edge of the penalty box that clashed off the near post.

The Toros’ back four of Kyle Adams, Conor Donovan, Omar Ontiveros and Padilla otherwise kept the Rangers under wraps, marking RGV’s fourth consecutive shutout when that group of defenders starts.

“We have to keep working,” Quintanilla said. “These aren’t the results we were anticipating, but we can highlight that we haven’t conceded goals. We can build from that to get the results we need.”