Final Word: Tough Stretch, Three Points over Tulsa

Toyota Field, San Antonio

Five matches in 14 days is difficult for any squad but San Antonio FC is making it look easy as they win 2-0 over FC Tulsa, who was looking to close the gap in Group D of the truncated 2020 USL Championship season. Coming into the match San Antonio had not beaten FC Tulsa since October 2017 with 2 losses and 3 draws during that stretch.

This was San Antonio FC’s toughest test of the season. It was the fifth match in two weeks. During this stretch: Dayne St. Clair was recalled from loan back to Minnesota United, both Jesus Enriquez and Preston Tabort Etaka mutually parted ways with the club and Callum Montgomery was not listed on the match line up. Tulsa was coming in also undefeated along with SAFC, much improved from the 2019 season, on a five match unbeaten streak and a stingy defense that had given up only five goals all season.

Tulsa played SAFC extremely tough, closing gaps in the middle, clearly to neutralize Cristian Parano. Tulsa’s defense playing so tight together was successful in limiting Parano, who only had 16 passes for 68.8% passing accuracy and only 2 off target shots. Tulsa concentration on Parano opened the game for Jose Gallegos and the center mid tandem of PC and Herivaux. Gallegos was named man of the match and both PC and Herivaux, both had an over 92% passing accuracy.

First goal came on a penalty resulting from a FC Tulsa hand ball, Luis Solignac converted the penalty in the 42nd minute for his team leading fourth goal.

Nacho Bailone continued his super sub status by making another immediate impact and scoring a goal on a defensive error in the 89th minute to secure the victory.

Post match interview via Zoom

SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina

(On extending the unbeaten streak…)

“I’m very proud of the guys. Its five games in 14 days to remain undefeated, so I am very proud of the collective.

(On the match…)

“I’m not sure if it’s better or worse, it’s just different. We have to get used to the circumstances that have unfolded this year as a result of the pandemic, and that’s just how the season has been resumed. We’re doing things right, we’re in good form, our group has adapted and if we have to play against the same rivals multiple times, we look at how our initial matchups go so that we can improve at the next one.”

SAFC Forward Ignacio Bailone

(On coming on as a sub…)

“Luckily I’ve been getting opportunities and being effective with goals and assists coming off the bench. When I’m not on the pitch, I get a chance to look at how things are playing out with the opponent, how defenders are lining up and their tendencies, so I try to take advantage of that when I check into the game.”

(About playing opponents multiple times…)

“I’m not sure if it’s better or worse, it’s just different. We have to get used to the circumstances that have unfolded this year as a result of the pandemic, and that’s just how the season has been resumed. We’re doing things right, we’re in good form, our group has adapted and if we have to play against the same rivals multiple times, we look at how our initial matchups go so that we can improve at the next one.”

SAFC Defender Hunter Gorskie

(On the team morale…)

“The moral is really high. We want to keep this unbeaten streak going, so obviously this one feels good tonight. We enjoy it and move on to the next one.”

(On the defensive performance as of late…)

“The secret is all 11 guys on the field put in the work. I can’t tell you how much easier my job is when all the guys in front of us working as hard as they can to make our job easy.”

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