SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio FC returned home on Saturday night to host Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Final, earning a 1-0 victory in front of 7,938 fans at Toyota Field.
The result sees SAFC stay undefeated in the young season as well as earn their first clean sheet of the season. Mohammed Abu scored the lone goal in the match for San Antonio, his first goal with the club and SAFC goalkeeper Jordan Farr made a game-saving play in the final seconds to preserve all three points.
“What people maybe fail to see is we had seven guys out,” SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina said. “Each game we’ve had barely any bodies. We’ve never allowed it to be an excuse. We’ve played with the same mentality, and that’s why I’m so proud of them. We earned the three points, and scored a deserving goal.”
Here are three moments from San Antonio’s 1-0 win over Colorado Springs:
Defense, defense, defense
It was clear Colorado Springs learned from last year’s Western Conference Final. They came in with a game plan and executed it perfectly. Much of the match was played with aggressive play from both clubs’ defensive sides.
The best chance for San Antonio came in the first half when Jacori Hayes’ shot went off the crossbar and Mitch Taintor could not put home the rebound. Farr made two big saves in the opening 45 minutes to keep the game scoreless going into the second half.
“I thought we should’ve had a couple more goals,” Marcina said. “And obviously to concede a PK so late, a bit unfortunate but Jordan came up big for us. So all in all, very very pleased. Seven points in three games, with 10, 11 12 field-player bodies is impressive.”
Abu gets on the board
Marcina subbed in Cristian Parano in the 56th minute to spark the club and he did exactly that. He nearly helped SAFC take the lead four minutes later when he sent a pass to Niko Hansen, who couldn’t get his foot on the end of the attempt.
SAFC would finally break the stalemate late in the second half when Parano helped create space that would lead to Abu’s first career goal with the club.
“Sometimes I just gamble, if it happens fine if it doesn’t you know I did something,” Abu said of his goal. “Throughout my career, I used to play a little bit upfront sometimes, so it’s not like a new thing to me. I try to adjust to how the game is going.”
Farr stands tall
The game saw Farr make five saves on the night, including the match-tying penalty to secure the win, giving him his first clean sheet of the season.
“You just want those [moments] to last longer,” Farr said after the game. “We had one with Austin last year too where it’s just like, you just want it to last so long. And it’s emotional to think about because as an athlete, you don’t get many moments like that.”
San Antonio FC is now 2-0-1 (7 points) on the season and will return to the pitch on Saturday, April 1 to face Monterey Bay F.C. (1-1-1) at 9 p.m.