SAN ANTONIO (PSN) — San Antonio FC (13-7-9) missed a golden opportunity to punch their ticket to the postseason as they played to a 1-1 draw with FC Tulsa (12-12-4) on a chilly fall evening at Toyota Field.
The result for SAFC combined with losses by Colorado Springs and Rio Grande Valley put San Antonio’s ‘magic number’ at one point.
“I am incredibly proud of the collective and their resilient behaviors,” SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina said. “We’ve preached it all year and they continue to demonstrate it game after game. I thought from start to finish, we were the aggressors with and without the ball and we created more than enough opportunities to win the game. They scored a beautiful goal…but none the less we did more than enough to get the three points, but I’m proud of the group tonight.”
Despite both sides getting off on the attack, it was Tulsa that struck first. Rodrigo da Costa curled a shot into the upper corner of the net, past diving SAFC goalkeeper Matthew Cardone in the 27th minute to put the visitors on top.
San Antonio struck back in the 57th minute after Jose Gallegos scored on a beautiful curling shot for his second consecutive match with a goal and his sixth on the season. Despite the goal lighting a fire under SAFC, they would end square on a chilly night in Texas.
Ladies and gentlemen, @JoseGallegos_17 💪 pic.twitter.com/fzafajOQNR
— San Antonio FC (@SanAntonioFC) October 17, 2021
Three key moments from Saturday’s draw:
San Antonio was plagued by missed scoring chances early on in the season and those missed chances reared their ugly head on Saturday.
Several shots went wide of the net or too high and out of play. Shots from Gallegos, Marcus Epps, and Nathan were just inches short.
“I believe in my players,” Marcina said of the team’s missed chances. “They continue to demonstrate attacking resilience. We create a lot of opportunities and that’s a big positive. We are confident they’ll execute. There are times we haven’t, but if you keep creating opportunities the probability is that they will fall.”
Win and you’re in
One positive from Saturday night is that several games around the league went San Antonio’s way. RGV FC fell to Colorado Springs and Austin lost to Real Monarchs.
As a result, SAFC controls their own destiny to clinch and host a home playoff match in the quarterfinals of the USL Championship Playoffs.
“I think it’s a little frustrating,” SAFC Defender Sam Gleadle said. “It’s obviously good to clinch it as early as possible. We still have three games left that are big games. We know we can still get to where we want to finish. At the end of the day, it does suck but we know we have other opportunities so we will keep looking forward to those.”
Jose turns on the heat
One player who has done well in Gallegos, who has scored two goals in the last two matches for San Antonio. That will only make SAFC more dangerous once the playoffs approach.
“Jose is a very talented player,” Marcina said. “He’s done special things for us all year and you see the product of that hard work night in and night out.”
San Antonio FC is now 13-7-9 (48 points) on the season and will return to the pitch on Wednesday night when they travel to face New Mexico United at 8:30 p.m. with a chance to clinch a playoff berth.