SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio FC snapped a two-game losing streak on Saturday night, defeating OKC Energy FC (9-10-3) 3-1 in front of 6,759 fans at Toyota Field.
The win not only snaps the losing streak but also pushes SAFC back into the top 10 of the Western Conference USL Championship standings with six matches left in the regular season.
“Points are very valuable in every game, and we knew that,” SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell said. “The way we approached the game, the intensity and purpose of what we wanted to do was there. We wanted to start the game on the front foot with intent and we did that, we got the first goal and kept pushing on to win the game.”
San Antonio found the scoreboard early when midfielder Cristian Parano found a wide open Rafa Castillo, who netted his first goal since 2018, putting SAFC up a goal in the 12th minute. SAFC extended their lead to 2-0 just 14 minutes later when Frank Lopez found himself one-on-one with OKC goalkeeper Cody Laurendi and drilled home a shot to the left corner of the net in the 25th minute.
The homeside extended their lead to three goals in the second half off an own goal from OKC off an SAFC piece in the 48th minute. The score would remain locked in place until 30 minutes later when OKC forward Deshern Brown converted from the penalty spot to cut the San Antonio lead to 3-1.
Three Standout Players:
The fan favorite and veteran scored his first goal since June 2018 but he also made several key defensive stops. He won three duels as OKC was threatening to score and led the team in shots at halftime.
“It’s been four months since I last played, so to get the opportunity was really special and to be able to contribute with goals that helped the team earn the three points is even bigger,” Castillo said. “Beyond going out there and proving to myself that I can still contribute, I’m happy to have helped my teammates to an important victory that’s significant to where we want to be and our targets.”
Since his signing in the middle of the season, Lopez has been a massive offensive spark for the club. After not getting on the scoresheet last week, he made sure do rebound this week.
The midfielder netted his sixth goal since joining the club and 12th overall in the 25th minute as he beat Cody Laurendi with a shot to the left corner of the net.
The 20-year-old may have been left off of the score sheet on Saturday but he still found a way to contribute with two assists on Castillo’s and Lopez’s goals.
With the addition of Tony Taylor, San Antonio has their own destiny in their hands regarding the playoffs.
“To be able to contribute and help the team out is what’s most important, and now it gives us a little bit of breathing room heading into our last six games,” Taylor said.
San Antonio FC is now 10-11-7 (37 points) on the season and will return to the pitch on Friday as the team travels to face LA Galaxy II (10-9-9) at 9 p.m. CT.