San Antonio FC Clinches 2020 Playoff Spot with 3-2 Win over Austin
SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio FC (9-1-3) beat Austin Bold FC (3-3-6) 3-2 at Toyota Field on Saturday night to clinch its second USL Championship Playoffs berth in franchise history. Goals from Luis Solignac, Cristian Parano, and Jose Gallegos earned the Alamo City club a crucial win to also clinch the top seed in Group D.
"I am incredibly proud of the guys," said SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina. "We were confident we would get a response from these players. These are players made of grit. We had a tough loss against El Paso with a penalty conceded and an own goal. The guys battled tonight against a good team competing for a place in the playoffs. You knew they were going to bring it today, and our guys got the result, so I am incredibly proud of them."
SAFC opened the scoring in the first minute of the match after Solignac beat goalkeeper Diego Restrepo from inside the box to score his second goal in under a minute this season. Solignac's goal marked his team-leading eighth of the season, while the Argentinian has also scored in a club-record six consecutive matches.
The visitors equalized in the 51st minute of the match with a goal from Roberto Avila, however the hosts re-took the lead just five minutes later after Parano buried a shot in the top corner and past Restrepo to make it 2-1. Parano earned SWBC Man of the Match honors after also setting up Solignac's aforementioned goal.
The Bold leveled the score yet again in the 62nd minute before San Antonio native Jose Gallegos took the lead for the hosts just 10 minutes later with a low, far-post shot past Restrepo to make it 3-2. The goal marked Gallegos' second of the season and second against the Bold.
With the win, SAFC clinched its first playoff berth since 2017 in the 13th out of 16 matches this season, marking 81.25 percent of the campaign. In 2017, the club also clinched 81.25 percent of the way through the season (26 out of 32 matches).
The night also marked a historic one for the club after the SAFC gameday squad consisted of six players who are local products or products of the SAFC Pro Academy. Matthew Cardone, Jose Gallegos, Blake Smith, Josh Ramsey, Fabrizio Bernal, and Leo Torres all featured in the squad.
The Alamo City club will return to USL Championship action on Saturday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. as they host OKC Energy FC in the club's final regular season home match.
SAFC: 1-0, Luis Solignac (Cristian Parano assist) 1'
ABFC: 1-1, Alberto Avila (Sean McFarlane assist) 50'
SAFC: 2-1, Cristian Parano (Jose Gallegos) 56'
ABFC: 2-2, Sean McFarlane (Xavi Baez assist) 62'
SAFC: 3-2, Jose Gallegos (Ignacio Bailone assist) 72'
ABFC: Yellow Card (Fabien Garcia) 37'
SAFC: Yellow Card (Nick Evans) 40'
ABFC: Yellow Card (Marcelo Serrano) 45'
SAFC: Yellow Card (Luis Solignac) 61'
ABFC: Yellow Card (Billy Forbes) 68'
ABFC: Yellow Card (Sonny Guadarrama) 76'
Attendance: 835 (socially distanced)
SAFC Starting XI: GK: Matthew Cardone; D: Connor Maloney, Mitchell Taintor, Kai Greene, Joshua Yaro (c), Blake Smith; M: Jose Gallegos (Hayden Partain 88'), Hunter Gorskie, Cristian Parano (Gonzalo Di Renzo 83'); F: Luis Solignac, Jordan Perruzza (Ignacio Bailone 66')
Substitutions not used: Carlos Mercado, Josh Ramsey, Leo Torres, Fabrizio Bernal
San Antonio FC defeated the Austin Bold 3-2 to clinch a playoff spot and the top seed in Group D...marks the first playoff appearance for SAFC since 2017 when the club clinched just three years and two days prior (9/14/17 at OCSC)...SAFC clinched its playoff spot in the 26th match of a 32 game season (81.25% of the season) in 2017, while also clinching 81.25% of the way in 2020 (13th match of a 16 match season)
SAFC improved its record against the Bold in 2020 to 2-0-1 and 3-1-1 all time...SAFC has outscored Austin 8-5 in those three matches and the two sides will meet one final time to conclude the regular season
San Antonio FC forward Luis Solignac scored his eighth goal of the season, which are tied for the third most in a single season by an SAFC player...Solignac's scored a goal in the first minute for the second consecutive home match...the goal marked the third fastest goal in league history at 0:50 seconds
Luis Solignac has now scored in six consecutive matches, which is a team record...the previous high was six straight matches set by former midfielder Billy Forbes
SAFC midfielder Cristian Parano recorded a goal and assist in the match, bringing his total to four in both categories in 2020...the goal marked the first for Parano since 8/8 at OKC, and the assist marked the first since 8/19 vs. OKC...Parano was named the SWBC Man of the Match after also adding two shots and one key pass
SAFC forward Jose Gallegos scored his second goal of the season, which both have come against the Bold...forward Ignacio Bailone added his third assist of the season to set up the game-winner
The SAFC 18-man game-day squad consisted of six players who were either local products or products of the SAFC Pro Academy...marks the most in a game-day squad in club history...the players were: Leo Torres, Matthew Cardone, Fabrizio Bernal, Blake Smith, Josh Ramsey and Jose Gallegos
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