SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio FC began their title defense with a 1-0 victory over Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC before 7,304 fans at Toyota Field on Saturday night in the Western Conference Quarterfinals.
The Story: San Antonio scored the only goal in the second half after pressure from SAFC forced the Colorado Springs goalkeeper into a turnover, which saw Jorge Hernandez bury the ball into the net in the 55th minute.
- Hernandez’s goal was his first of the playoffs, after scoring twice in the regular season.
- The victory sees SAFC continue its unbeaten streak against the Switchbacks, dating back to last season.
- Over the last three seasons, San Antonio is 50-0-11 when scoring the first goal of the match.
“I’m proud of the guys, to get the result,” SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina said. “To move on into playoffs. We asked the guys to give three percent more focus, three percent more hunger over the course of 90 minutes and they did so. Incredibly proud of them for that.”
Defense holds: After a poor showing to end the regular season, San Antonio’s defense stepped up on Saturday with goalkeeper Nick Marsman making key saves and clearances by Shannon Gomez and Jacori Hayes.
- Marsman became the first SAFC goalkeeper other than Jordan Farr to record a clean sheet in the postseason.
“I think it was a tough and long regular season,” Marsman said. “And then you go into the end of the regular season where you already know you’re going to play [in the] playoffs. And I think when the playoffs are there, it brings out a different energy.”
Up next: San Antonio FC will now move on to the Western Conference Semifinals next Friday when they travel to face No. 1 Sacramento Republic FC at First Health Park at 9:30 p.m.