San Antonio FC fell to New Mexico United 0-1 at Toyota Field on Saturday night. A goal from the visitors in extra time cut the Alamo City club’s season short in the USL Championship Western Conference Quarterfinals.
“Our players are incredibly disappointed,” said SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina. “Hats off to New Mexico. They are a great team, we mentioned it all week. There’s a lot of similarities between the two sides. It’s two very good teams. I wouldn’t be surprised if New Mexico goes the distance. I told players and staff in the locker room that I was incredibly proud of each of them. They left it all out there and they made 210 [San Antonio] proud. It’s a tough one to swallow, and hats off to New Mexico for finding a way to win.”
The lone goal of the match came in the 101st minute after New Mexico midfielder Chris Wehan brought the ball down in the SAFC box-- amid shouts from fans, coaches and players calling for a handball -- and buried it from short range.
The loss marks the end of a unique 2020 season for San Antonio FC, who finished at the top of their group in the regular season with an eight-point lead on runner-up FC Tulsa while amassing 33 points, 30 goals, seven clean sheets, and an 11-game unbeaten streak.
SAFC clinched a its second playoff berth in franchise history while securing the top seed in Group D on Sept. 16 with a 3-2 win over rivals Austin Bold FC. The Alamo City club previously made a playoff run in the 2017 USL Championship season, in a run which saw SAFC reach the Western Conference semifinals.
San Antonio FC concluded its fifth season with an all-time record of 63-44-39, including an impressive 41-10-22 record when playing at Toyota Field. The result on Saturday night was the only loss the team suffered at home in 2020.
NMU: 0-1, Chris Wehan
NMU: Yellow Card (Armando Moreno) 48’
SAFC: Yellow Card (Mitch Taintor) 51’
NMU: Yellow Card (Cody Mizell) 103’
SAFC: Yellow Card (PC) 104’
NMU: Yellow Card (Chris Wehan) 105’
SAFC: Yellow Card (Ignacio Bailone) 105’
NMU: Yellow Card (Andrew Tinari) 105’
NMU: Yellow Card (Josh Suggs) 105’
NMU: Yellow Card (JP Guzman) 107’
SAFC: Yellow Card (Cristian Parano) 115’
SAFC: Yellow Card (Juan Lamadrid) 119’
Attendance: 2,175 (socially distanced)
SAFC Starting XI: GK: Matthew Cardone; D: Connor Maloney (Kai Greene 69’), Mitchell Taintor, Joshua Yaro, Liam Doyle (Gonzalo Di Renzo 103’), Blake Smith; M: Jose Gallegos, PC, Cristian Parano 60; F: Jordan Perruzza (Ignacio Bailone 90’), Luis Solignac (c)
Substitutions not used: Carlos Mercado, Hunter Gorskie, Ethan Bryant, Hayden Partain