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SAN ANTONIO FC ADVANCES TO CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS AFTER 2-0 WIN OVER SAN DIEGO

By San Antonio FC Communications, 11/05/21, 11:30PM CDT

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SAFC Will Play the Winner of Phoenix Rising and RGV FC Who Play Tomorrow Night

San Antonio FC advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals in front of a season-record crowd on Friday night after a 2-0 win over San Diego Loyal SC. Goals from Santiago Patino and Nathan along with a shutout helped the club win just their second playoff game in team history.

“I am incredibly proud of the collective,” said SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina. “They fought for the 90-plus minutes; their pressing actions were fantastic. As a collective it was a defensive masterclass. From front to back we were extremely organized and extremely smart. We scored a couple of nice goals. San Diego is a very good team coached by Landon [Donovan] and Nate [Miller]. We knew it would be a tough challenge, but we earned and deserved the win.”

SAFC dominated the opening proceedings keeping San Diego on the back foot with its pressing and aggressive style. The Alamo City club opened the scoring just 14 minutes in when a wonderfully struck free kick from Mohammed Abu found the head of Nathan who fired past the diving keeper for the 1-0 lead. SAFC then doubled its advantage just 10 minutes later from another set piece when a header from Mitch Taintor eventually fell to Patino who bundled the ball home.

A great one on one save from goalkeeper Jordan Farr – who joined the team on emergency loan this week – helped keep the score 2-0 in the first half. Taintor also made an impressive clearance off the line to help keep San Diego from finding the breakthrough.

In the second half, SAFC held their lead and defended bravely while also remaining dangerous on the counter-attack. Midfielder Mohammed Abu controlled the game in midfield, completing 90.0 percent of his passes and recording 10 possessions gained. Despite a late attacking threat from Loyal SC, SAFC was able to earn the shutout win and advance to the next round of the postseason.

SAFC will now await the result of the Phoenix Rising vs. RGVFC matchup that takes place on Saturday night. If Phoenix wins, SAFC would travel to Arizona next Saturday, and if RGV earns the victory, Toyota Field would host another playoff match next weekend.

Scoring Summary:

SAFC: 1-0, Nathan (Mohammed Abu assist) 14’

SAFC: 2-0, Santiago Patino 25’

Disciplinary Summary:

SAFC: Yellow Card (PC) 6’

SD: Yellow Card (Grant Stoneman) 16’

SAFC: Yellow Card (Marcus Epps) 46’

SAFC: Yellow Card (Connor Maloney) 60’

SD: Yellow Card (Collin Martin) 81’

SD: Yellow Card (Elijah Martin) 86’

Attendance: 7,003

SAFC Starting XI: GK: Jodran Farr; D: Kortne Ford, Jasser Khmiri, Mitch Taintor; M: Connor Maloney, Mohammed Abu, Jose Gallegos, Marcus Epps, PC (c); F: Nathan (Justin Dhillon 75’), Santiago Patino (Sam Gleadle 62’)

Substitutions not used: Carlos Mercado, Joaquin Varela, Ollie Wright, Cam Lindley, Chris Lema

Postgame Notes:

  • SAFC recorded its second-ever playoff win and first since the 2017 season…marked the fourth home playoff match for SAFC who has gone 2-2-0 in postseason play overall
  • In the first overall meeting between SAFC and San Diego, the Alamo City earned the win and the shutout
  • Forwards Nathan and Santiago Patino became the fourth and fifth players in club history to record a playoff goal…the goals were the first in postseason play for SAFC since they scored three in the 2017 season
  • SAFC defender Mitch Taintor was named the SWBC man of the match after recording six clearances, three tackles and helping record one shutout
  • SAFC recorded its first clean sheet in postseason play, with newly added goalkeeper Jordan Farr keeping his first for the club…Farr made one save in his first start for the club after being added on emergency loan
  • SAFC midfielder Mohammed Abu was dominate in midfield, completing 90.0 percent of his passes and recording his first assist of the postseason…Abu also added three key passes and 10 possessions gained

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