SAN ANTONIO – Despite ranking as one of the strongest teams in the USL Championship, San Antonio FC saw their season end in heartbreaking fashion, falling 0-1 to New Mexico United in extra time at Toyota Field on Saturday night in their first-round playoff series.
The loss comes despite SAFC clinching the top spot in Group D and losing just four matches all season long and a perfect regular-season record 7-0-1 at home.
“Our players are incredibly disappointed,” said SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina. “Hats off to New Mexico. They are a great team, we mentioned it all week. There’s a lot of similarities between the two sides. It’s two very good teams. I wouldn’t be surprised if New Mexico goes the distance. I told players and staff in the locker room that I was incredibly proud of each of them. They left it all out there and they made 210 [San Antonio] proud. It’s a tough one to swallow, and hats off to New Mexico for finding a way to win.”
After 100 minutes of scoreless soccer, the visitors finally broke through in extra time as Christopher Wehan got the ball at the top of the 18-yard box and sent a left-footed shot to the bottom right corner of the net, beating SAFC goalkeeper Matt Cardone in the 101st minute.
Marcina long with SAFC’s defenders quickly went to the officiating, saying Wehan played ball with his right elbow. However, the officials allowed the goal to stand.
“If you look at our team, we do have a lot of talent, but I think we’re a bunch of hard-working guys and we’ve shown that throughout the season,” said SAFC defender Josh Yaro. “We matched their intensity, we rolled up our sleeves and we fought. [Losing tonight] is a pretty terrible feeling, it’s a game that never should have ended the way it did.”
San Antonio FC ends their season with a 10-4-3 record but dropped four of their last six matches after an 8-0-3 start to the shortened season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our team left it all out there and I think they made 210 proud,” SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina said. “I think there are just so many great pieces that have been put in place this year and there’s a lot to look forward to, I guarantee you that.”
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