SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio FC advanced to the Western Conference Final for the first time in club history with a 3-1 win over the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros in front of 7,966 fans at Toyota Field on Saturday night. 

San Antonio advances to the Western Conference Final for the first time ever next weekend and will face Orange County SC.

“First and foremost, I’m blessed to lead this team,” SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina said. “It’s a great group. I’m very thankful. We had a sold-out stadium. We do this for our fans. It was so loud they are so passionate. Players feed off that energy.”


San Antonio started off strong on the attack as PC sent a shot just high of the RGV net. SAFC kept their foot on the gas as the half went on and it paid off in the 24th minute when Santiago Patino put home a rebound off Jose Gallego’s initial shot to put the home side up a goal. 

Patino added another goal in the second half for a brace and a two-goal SAFC lead in the 55th minute off a cross from Connor Maloney. Nathan completed the scoring for San Antonio with a bullet to put the home side in the driver’s seat in the 62nd minute. 

A late penalty saw RGV FC end San Antonio’s clean sheet streak as they converted for s goal to make it 3-1 in the 68th minute. 

Here are three standout moments from Saturday’s game against RGV:

Coming out strong 

Marcina’s club were the aggressors to begin the game with PC getting the first scoring chance of the night but it went high over the bar. Patino’s goal in the first half was the lone score from the opening half. 

San Antonio continued to be aggressive in the second half, resulting in Patino’s second goal of the night. Nathan capped off the scoring for the home side as they advanced to the Western Conference Final for the first time ever. 

“I think we’re just a team who knows how to compete and how to win, and we know what it takes to win. Right now, it’s playoffs and everything that gets in the way is going to get it,” Patino said.

Peaking at the right time

San Antonio is playing some of their best football at the right moment. They came into Saturday’s match allowing no goals in their past three matches and if not for the PK late in the second half, they likely would have had another clean sheet. 

On the offensive side, SAFC has scored an average of 2.5 goals in two playoff matches and allowed their opponents to score 0.5 through 2 matches. 

“It’s 11 guys who defend and 11 guys who attack, and they’ve been committed to that concept since day one,” Marcina said. “I’m incredibly proud of them. Two games, two playoff wins, five goals scored, and one conceded. All in all very happy.”

Home cooking

Toyota Field was rocking on Saturday as the place sold out and the club felt their energy. With their playoff location up in the air, the players are hoping for one more game inside the friendly confines. 

“We love it. We love our fans, and we love our stadium and playing at home,” Patino said. “We feel really comfortable playing at home and we’re waiting for a result (elsewhere) tonight, but if we have to play away, we’re going to go over there and win.”

UP NEXT:

San Antonio FC will now head to the Western Conference Final and face Orange County SC next Saturday night at 9 p.m. from Championship Stadium.

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Stephen Michael 26, is a journalist, social media coordinator, host, and entertainment reporter. Michael graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts and earned a Master's Degree in Digital Media in 2020 from the University of the Incarnate Word. He has worked covering the San Antonio Rampage, Stars, and San Antonio Futbol Club. He was the host of the Project Spurs Roundtable on NBC affiliate News 4 San Antonio from 2015-17.

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