SAN ANTONIO (Fwrd Axis) — San Antonio FC shrugged off a slow start to defeat San Diego Loyal SC in front of 7,019 fans at Toyota Field on Saturday night to increase their lead in the USL Championship’s Western Conference standings.
With the win, SAFC moved 11 points ahead of San Diego for first place in the USL Championship Western Conference and three points ahead of Louisville City FC in the race for the league’s top spot after Saturday’s results.
“I’m incredibly proud of the team. We go into with six influential players out, and we made no excuses,” San Antonio FC Head Coach Alen Marcina said. “The mentality, that we’re incredibly proud of, of all the players, is something that’s been instilled since 2020 and we’ve carried it through.”
The start of the match saw San Antonio struggle to get the ball out of their own end but that all changed at the half hour mark when Ignacio Bailone put home a shot past the San Diego goalkeeper to put SAFC up 1-0 going into the second half.
A penalty was called on San Antonio in the 61st minute but Jordan Farr stepped up to make the stop to keep his team in front. SAFC would buckle down defensively to hold off a late rush from the Loyal to secure a huge win for their hopes of capturing first place.
Farr earned his 12th clean sheet of the season, which ties a club record for clean sheets in a season, and is currently tied for the most in the league.
“As a keeper you can’t be too high. I think I fell into that trap, potentially … as we were doing well you kinda think one way, and then you get kind of humbled,” Farr said of his play this season. “And so, for keepers, it’s just good to be steady. So for me it’s just playing every game.”
The victory also saw SAFC secure a home playoff match at Toyota Field, where they own a 9-3-1 record in the 2022 season. With first place all but locked up, the club will now focus on keeping pace with Louisville for the number one overall seed in the league.
“I think these fans are awesome and there’s a different energy in this building,” SAFC Defender Connor Maloney said. “I agree it’s a fortress, which you can see based on our record here. It’s pretty unbelievable and a credit to the guys and the coaching staff. But also, our fans. We wouldn’t be where we are without them.”
San Antonio FC is now 20-5-3 (63 points) on the season and will return to the pitch on Saturday night when they face New Mexico United (11-9-9) at 7:30 p.m. at Toyota Field to continue their homestand.