Toyota Field – San Antonio FC knew they needed to come out strong and get three points on Wednesday. That is exactly how they played from the opening whistle, getting right back into the playoff race in the process.
San Antonio FC defeated Arizona United SC with a 3-2 victory in front of 4,326 fans at Toyota Field on Wednesday night, snapping a four-game winless streak. The result was their first win since July 16.
Carlos Alvarez got the scoring started for the hosts in the 32nd minute when he beat Arizona goalkeeper Carl Woszcynski, taking the pass from Sebastien Thuriere for the one-goal lead.
SAFC added to their lead just before halftime with a 20-yard goal from Franck ‘The Tank’ Tayou. Tank took the ball from outside the box and placed it into the back corner of the net for the 2-0 advantage. Arizona answered back in stoppage time when Luke Rooney beat SAFC goalkeeper Matt Cardone to cut the San Antonio lead to one after 45 minutes.
Cesar Elizondo scored his second goal in an SAFC kit in the 56th minute by putting the ball in the back-post to make it 3-1. Rooney added a late tally for Arizona in the 87th minute off a penalty kick, but SAFC held on for the victory.
“Tonight it was about getting the result,” SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell said. “The players wanted to do everything it took to get that result. I thought the first 20 minutes we played some really good football, and I’d like to go back and watch that 20 minutes because that’s something we want to replicate week in and week out.”
San Antonio has been hit by injuries all season long and Wednesday was no different. Michael Reed and Milton Palacios both missed the game with injuries. Starting goalkeeper Josh Ford was injured in pre-game warm ups and Stephen McCarthy left in the first half with a hand injury.
However, SAFC responded well. The club matched their season-high in goals and picked up three important points in their race for a final playoff berth in a packed Western Conference.
The victory puts San Antonio two points out of the eighth and final playoff spot with eight games remaining in the season.
We have teams right around us [in the league table] that we’re about to play in the next few weeks,” defender Sam McBride said. “So we have to keep our mentality like it was tonight, work hard, do what we have to win, and I think we’ll get into playoffs.”
Up next: San Antonio FC is now 7-8-7 (28 points) on the season and will return to the pitch on Saturday when they welcome Seattle Sounders 2 to Toyota Field at 7:30 p.m.