Oklahoma City, OK
San Antonio traveled up north to the Sooner State on a two game road trip to face OKC Energy FC on Saturday evening and FC Tulsa next Wednesday. San Antonio FC came in winning their last two and OKC stumbled into this one after losing 3-0 to New Mexico.
SAFC took control of this one early, despite the Energy FC have majority of possession in the game, it was the Alamo City Boys would made most of their touches. Early on San Antonio’s defense frustrated both Omar Gordon and Frank Lopez and minimized any threat from the duo. Lopez’s frustration came to a head when he received a yellow in the 42nd minute for arguing a non call after he went down inside the penalty box.
OKC Energy’s FC defense was sloppy and San Antonio capitalized on mistakes, SAFC’s first goal came when in the 31st minute. OKC defender Christian Ibeagha running towards goal had a pass bounce off the back of his ankle which went to Parano and Parano wasted no time taking the shot and caught CJ Cochran leaning the wrong way.
SAFC took a 1-0 lead into the locker room at half time and after Zach Herivaux was subbed out in appeared as a precaution after being banged up in the first half and an apparent leg cramp early in the second, Santi Viera made his SAFC debut and recorded a 90.5 percent passing accuracy while adding three tackles and eight possessions gained in 40 minutes.
The second goal came in the 70th minute on a set piece, Parano beautifully curled the ball into the box and Callum Montgomery made a run and placed his header right past a diving Cochran for his second goal of the season.
Final goal came in from Nacho Bailone who is quickly becoming a super sub and seems to be enjoying the his role. Every match that Nacho has come in, he has created an almost immediate impact. Santi Viera created the turn over on a tackle in the midfield and made a 20 yard pass up the middle to Solignac who turned to face Bailone coming up on his right side, Bailone makes his run and takes a left footed shot with three defenders surrounding him from about 22 yards out and found the far left post where Cochran just could not get to.
Post Match Interviews from SAFC
SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina
(On the win…)
“I think it was a very gritty performance. I’m proud of the guys, their commitment, their ability to execute on the tasks asked of them and the total vibe overall. It’s a family here, and we preach that from day one. It keeps growing and getting stronger.”
(On the group’s chemistry…)
“We are growing very strong together. We are committed to one another and committed to the vision. Guys are putting their best feet forward to put in a great performance for our fans back home.”
SAFC Midfielder Cristian Parano
(On his performance…)
“I feel very happy. I’m grateful to my coaches and teammates because they’re always supporting me. I’m thankful to God for everything that I’m experiencing and now we’re focused on the upcoming match.”
(On the team’s focus…)
“Our team is very committed. We have to keep working in the same way because we’re creating a great group. We can’t get complacent and we have to keep striving for more so we can reach our objectives.”
SAFC Goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair
(On the team’s mentality after the win…)
“On to the next one. We can celebrate tonight and start focusing on FC Tulsa tomorrow. This is a business trip, and we take it one game at a time. We completed our objective tonight and now it’s on to [Tulsa].”
(On the clean sheet…)
“It’s good. It’s a complete team performance and our best win so far this season. A lot of praise goes to the back line and the rest of our team as well. Their pressing really affected the game a lot, and when I was called upon I made the saves I needed.”
What went right
In short, pretty much everything.
Santi makes his debut and made 21 passes with a 90.5% completion and set up Solignac’s assist on Bailone’s goal
St, Clair continues to improve with a clean sheet and some great saves
Parano continues his stellar play with a goal and an assist, a serious contender for player of the month
Subs coming in and making an impact, Bailone is becoming the super sub, Santi had an excellent 40 minutes and Gallegos held his own in the last 10 minutes.
Really none to speak of. It was a near flawless match by the entire team.
San Antonio at 4-0-1 is one of only three teams in the USL still without a loss in the USL Championship. The others: Tampa Bay 4-0-2 and early surprise team FC Tulsa 2-0-2.
Next match: San Antonio FC will face FC Tulsa on Wednesday in Tulsa as the final match of a three game road trip.