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SAN ANTONIO FC CLINCHES FIRST PLAYOFF BERTH IN CLUB HISTORY WITH WIN OVER ORANGE COUNTY SC

By San Antonio FC Communications, 09/14/17, 12:00AM CDT

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SAFC Just the Second USL Club to Clinch So Far this Season

San Antonio FC (14-2-10) earned a 1-0 win against Orange County SC (8-9-9) on the road to clinch its first-ever USL playoff berth. A goal from defender Ben Newnam was enough to secure SAFC a place in the playoffs, becoming just the second club to clinch a spot so far this season.

“I’m very pleased with our players tonight,” SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell said. “We worked very hard and put ourselves in a position to get three points, and we’re pleased to be part of SAFC history by earning a playoff berth. We have a lot of season left to play and we want to continue getting better, and we want to make sure we put on good performances the rest of the season.”

The lone goal of the match came in the 55th minute when defender Ben Newnam scored from long range with a free-kick, beating goalkeeper Charlie Lyon for the 1-0 lead after the keeper was put off by Sebastien Ibeagha’s run. The goal marked Newnam’s first for the Silver and Black in his 21st appearance for the club.

With the win, SAFC elevated its point tally to 52 points on the season while limiting Orange County’s maximum possible amount to 51, officially securing the Alamo City club its first playoff berth in franchise history and becoming just the second team to clinch after league-leading Real Monarchs SLC.

SAFC goalkeeper Diego Restrepo recorded his 11th clean sheet of the season, making three saves on the night. Restrepo is now just two shutouts away from matching the USL single-season record, which was set by goalkeeper Brandon Miller in 2015 while with the Rochester Rhinos.

San Antonio FC midfielder Connor Presley made his first start for the club, playing 73 minutes while recording one shot, one chance created, and 90 percent passing accuracy.

Last season, San Antonio FC fell just short of the playoffs after falling to Rio Grande Valley FC in the last match of the 2016 regular season. With Wednesday’s win, SAFC is now just four points away from first-place Real Monarchs. The Silver and Black is also the team with the fewest losses in the league so far this season with just two.

Scoring Summary:

SAFC: 0-1, Ben Newnam 55’

Disciplinary Summary:

OCSC: Yellow Card (Oscar Sorto 54’)

SAFC: Yellow Card (Cesar Elizondo 61’)

SAFC: Yellow Card (Kris Tyrpak 68’)

SAFC: Yellow Card (Stephen McCarthy 85’)

Attendance: 1,857

SAFC Starting XI: GK: Diego Restrepo; D: Ben Newnam, Cyprian Hedrick, Sebastien Ibeagha (C), Greg Cochrane; M: Ryan Roushandel, Maxi Rodriguez (Stephen McCarthy 84’), Kris Tyrpak, Omar Gordon; F: Connor Presley (Ever Guzman 73’), Cesar Elizondo

Substitutions Not Used: Lee Johnston, Mark O’Ojong, Pecka, Mike Seth, Billy Forbes

Postgame Notes:

  • San Antonio FC clinched their first playoff berth in franchise history after earning their league-leading eighth road win of the season tonight…SAFC are now 8-2-4 on the road and are just the second USL team to clinch a 2017 USL playoff spot so far…San Antonio is unbeaten in its last five matches (3-0-2)…SAFC missed the playoffs by just two points in 2016
  • San Antonio FC defender Ben Newnam scored his first goal of the season to give his club the lead in the 55th minute…marks Newnam’s first goal with SAFC and first since June 5, 2016 against Orlando when he was with Louisville City FC…Newnam was named the SWBC Man of the Match for his part in the win and shutout
  • San Antonio FC is now 1-0-1 against Orange County this season and 2-1-1 against the club all-time…SAFC earned its first win in franchise history in Orange County tonight
  • SAFC goalkeeper Diego Restrepo kept his 11th clean sheet of the season, which is just two shy of the USL record set by Brandon Miller of the Rochester Rhinos in 2015…his 11 clean sheets league the league as do the 14 total shutouts by San Antonio FC
  • SAFC has now scored four goals off of set pieces in the last three matches after previously not scoring any goals from set pieces in the first 23 games of the USL season
  • SAFC midfielder Connor Presley made his first start for the club tonight, playing 73 minutes…marked his third appearance for SAFC since joining last month
  • SAFC defender-midfielder Ryan Roushandel played his first consecutive games this season and first since he played the final three for SAFC in the 2016 season from 9/14-24…Roushandel recorded an 86.2 percent passing accuracy while adding two clearances.