EDINBURG, TX (Fwrd Axis) – San Antonio FC continued their perfect start to the 2022 USL Championship season on Sunday evening, earning a 2-1 victory over the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros at H-E-B Park.
With the win, SAFC improves to 3-0 on the young season, making it the first time the club has won its first three games of the campaign since 2017.
“That was a hard-fought, well-earned three points. RGV was very, very good tonight. Our guys stayed resilient for the 90+ minutes and got a well-earned 3 points on the road against a well-organized team,” SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina said.
As they have done the first two matches of the season, SAFC got things started on the scoreboard early. After a Toros turnover, Connor Maloney found Elliot Collier for his first goal in SAFC colors, putting the visitors up 1-0 in the 34th minute. RGV FC leveled the match thanks to Dylan Borczak’s first pro goal in the 44th minute but San Antonio took the lead right back before halftime on David Loera’s second goal of the season, putting the ball through traffic and into the net.
The second half saw the Toros create several chances but could not finish them off. San Antonio goalkeeper Cristian Bonilla came up big in the net for SAFC, stopping what looked to be a sure equalizer from RGV in the 81st minute. Despite the officials adding eight minutes of stoppage time, San Antonio’s defense held strong for the one-goal win to stay perfect on the young season.
In case you missed it, here are three main points from SAFC’s 2-1 win on Sunday:
With SAFC leading 2-1, Rio Grande Valley came out of the locker room in the second half looking to score. They were aggressive on the attack but could not finish their chances. As a result, San Antonio’s defense came up big.
SAFC goalkeeper Cristian Bonilla stopped a shot on the line that looked to be the equalizer for the Toros. The San Antonio FC backline, led by Maloney, held strong despite injuries to several of their key players, a promising sign this young in the season.
“Demonstrating resilient behavior is staying confident in the face of adversity and the face of challenges,” Marcina said. “Finding solutions, never making excuses. The guys did that tonight and earned three points.”
Solid in net
Goalkeeper Cristian Bonilla had a second-straight match with four saves, bringing his season total to 10. He made several big stops and has given up just 0.6 goals in three matches thus far.
Loera: The new scoring threat?
After losing key offensive pieces like Jose Gallegos and Marcus Epps in the offseason, San Antonio is looking for a new scoring punch and they may have found that in David Loera. His goal in the first half was his second as in many games, proving the power behind his shot.
— USL Championship (@USLChampionship) March 28, 2022
Once Santiago Patino is back in the lineup, he and Loera could prove to be a lethal one-two punch for the rest of the Western Conference.
“We grinded out the win, we were resilient for 90 minutes and just kept going, and didn’t give up. Very proud of the boys for the result,” he said.
San Antonio FC is now 3-0-0 (9 points) on the season and will return to the pitch next Saturday when they face Phoenix Rising FC (1-2-0) at 8:30 p.m. ET from Toyota Field.