San Antonio FC entered the 2016 season looking to establish a new club in the Alamo City. The season – which came rather quick after a short build up for the club – got off to the best of starts with an away win over the Seattle Sounders 2. Following the club’s 1-1 draw in their home opener, SAFC played three straight road matches before returning home for the team’s second ever match at Toyota Field on April 30, 2016.
San Antonio FC would win its first of 35 home league wins that night against the Tulsa Roughnecks – now FC Tulsa – thanks to good attacking play on the field and a strong home crowd of 7,837.
The match started well for SAFC who took the momentum from the loud crowd and immediately began attacking the Roughnecks goal. Despite their pressure, SAFC didn’t find the breakthrough until just seven minutes before halftime after a through ball from midfielder Carlos Alvarez found Shawn Chin. After a cut back in the box, Chin poked the opening goal into the net to give San Antonio the 1-0 lead.
After entering half time with the lead, the Roughnecks would tie the game just four minutes into the second half. Tulsa forward Sammy Ochoa countered down the left wing after a turnover, and sent a hard cross low to the back post where Kaleem scored an easy tap in. The score would remain tied until the 68th minute when SAFC midfielder Rafa Castillo scored an all-time classic goal in front of the home fans. After SAFC nearly scored from a set-piece thanks to Sam McBride, the ball was recycled back out and eventually found the foot of Castillo who dummied past a defender before lacing a shot into the top corner off the goalkeeper’s hands. The 25-yard strike sent the crowd into dreamland as SAFC would look to hold the lead for the remaining 20 minutes of the game.
As the match continued, Tulsa looked the more likely to score as the team pressed to get a road result in a tough environment. SAFC would seal the victory however thanks to the third goal of the season for forward Jason Johnson. In the 88th minute, a long ball sent forward by SAFC wasn’t dealt with by the Roughnecks. Somehow, the ball squeaked past the defenders while SAFC substitute Manolo Sanchez found himself one-on-one with the keeper. His shot was saved well by Alex Mangels, but the rebound fell to Johnson at the edge of the box where he impressively floated a curled shot into the top corner to seal the three points for SAFC.
The win marked the second of the season for SAFC, the first at home, and the second time the club had scored three goals in a single match. Alvarez recorded his second assist, while Chin and Castillo scored their first goals for the club. Overall SAFC outshot Tulsa 23-6 while the Alamo City keeper Josh Ford only needed to make one save.
SAFC: 1-0, Shawn Chin (Carlos Alvarez assist) 38’
Tulsa: 1-1, Kaleem (Sammy Ochoa assist) 49’
SAFC: 2-1, Rafa Castillo 68’
SAFC: 3-1, Jason Johnson 88’
SAFC Starting XI: GK: Josh Ford (c); D: Greg Cochrane, Stephen McCarthy (Biko Bradnock-Brennan 71’), Sam McBride, Bobby Moseley; M: Sebastian Thuriere, Rafa Castillo (Michael Reed 90’), Carlos Alvarez, Jason Johnson, Shawn Chin (Miguel Salazar 73’); F: Victor Araujo (Manolo Sanchez 82’)
Substitutions Not Used: Matthew Cardone, Max Gunderson, Austin Dunker
Full Match Below: