SACRAMENTO — San Antonio FC closed out their four-match road trip with a 1-0 victory over Sacramento Republic FC on Saturday night at Heart Health Park.
The victory was the third straight for San Antonio, who earned their first-ever win in team history in Sacramento. With the win, SAFC slid into second place in a tight Mountain Division, just six points behind leaders El Paso Locomotive FC.
“Sacramento is a strong opponent, and they have a lot of quality players,” said SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina. “Fans here were very loud. You can feel the passion from the fans that helped the home team. Having said that, I thought our guys were resilient. We created a number of good opportunities that we should have done a bit better with, but the guys kept going and we got rewarded with a goal.”
Republic FC pressured the San Antonio net several times in the first half, forcing SAFC goalkeeper Matt Cardone into making big stops to keep the match level. Sacramento nearly had a goal late in the first half but Cardone and Connor Maloney kept it 0-0 going into the second half.
San Antonio and Sacramento remained deadlocked in a scoreless battle late into the second half. Then Kortne Ford headed home the lone goal in the 73rd minute off a broken corner kick off the feed from Marcus Epps.
“We’ve been resilient, we’ve been warriors and we battled this whole week,” Cardone said. “Our mission this week was to take it a half at a time and come out of here with nine points and we accomplished that. Now we recover and get back to work for the weekend.”
The match also closes a tough stretch for San Antonio, who played seven matches in 21 days as they made up matches that were postponed due to COVID-19 protocol.
This recent stretch is not only these three games in the past seven days but also seven games in 21 days and we came out on the positive side of that,” Marcina said. “The guys have earned a couple of days of rest, but after that all our focus is on New Mexico in front of our home fans, competing and hopefully earning three points.”
San Antonio FC is now 11-6-7 (40 points) on the season and will return to the pitch next Saturday to welcome New Mexico United to Toyota Field at 7:30 p.m.