SAN ANTONIO – Two goals in the final four minutes of play lifted San Antonio FC to a stunning 2-1 victory over Portland Timbers 2 (7-4-2) in front of 7,244 fans on a scorching Saturday night at Toyota Field.

“When we scored the first goal, we wanted the second one because that was important to us this evening,” SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell said. “I can’t thank the players, the staff, the club, and the fans for the help. We want them to keep believing and keep going.”

SAFC controlled most of the first half with the majority of the opening 45 minutes being played in the Portland end of the pitch. Omar Gordon set up a majority of chances for his teammates, including a chance from Mikey Lopez in the ninth minutes. Neither team was able to find the back of the net as the match was scoreless at the break.

Portland came out strong in the second half and took advantage of that early. San Antonio’s Darnell King was called for a penalty, setting up a T2 penalty kick from Augustine Williams to put the visitors up 1-0.

T2 would remain in front until the final ten minutes. San Antonio pushed the attack, leading to Gordon’s equalizer in the 87th minute when he fired a shot to the right corner of the net. SAFC completed their comeback three minutes into stoppage time when Jose Escalante’s cross found the foot of Alex Bruce, who buried the ball into the back of the net.

Here is what went good and bad for San Antonio, as well as three standout players: Omar Gordon, Jose Escalante, and Alex Bruce.

The Good:

  • Darren Powell changed up the formation as SAFC began the game with a 3-4-3. The move looked to have paid off as the club controlled the majority of the first half, getting 7 shots on target to just one for Portland.
  • SAFC controlled the corner kicks, leading that category 15-1.
  • Despite not scoring until late in the match, SAFC never gave up. The fact that San Antonio got the win is well deserved after being in control of a majority of the match.
  • San Antonio scored two goals in a match for the first time since a 2-1 win against Fresno FC on May 5.
  • SAFC’s attacking troubles looked like they were doomed for their second straight home loss. However, Gordon and Bruce’s heroics may have turned San Antonio’s fortunes around as they look to get back into the top eight.

The Bad:

  • Darnell King was called for a penalty early in the second half and picked up a yellow card in the process. The move not only led to Portland’s goal but it means King will be suspended for the next USL match against Sacramento.
  • Sonny Guadarrama had a match to forget as he constantly gave the ball away and overplayed during big moments late in the game that resulted in Portland getting the ball back when San Antonio was on the attack.

Three Standout Players:

Photo courtesy Darren Abate / San Antonio FC

Omar Gordon:

After scoring three goals in his last in the last four matches, Omar Gordon continued his solid play on Saturday. He created chances, getting his teammates scoring opportunities and being one of the main forces behind the offense.

In the opening minutes, he would send in a cross to Cesar Elizondo but it would get stopped by the Portland goalkeeper Alex Mangels. He set up Jose Escalante for a would-be goal but Mangels got his glove on the ball. Gordon used his speed and footwork to give San Antonio several scoring chances in the opening 45 minutes.

The second half saw Gordon’s efforts set up Alex Bruce for SAFC’s best scoring chance but Mangels made the stop on the ball. Gordon’s play on Saturday was a major to San Antonio’s offense all night and he was rewarded with a goal in the 88th to level the match late.

“It is one of the greatest feelings because when I’m out there I think to myself that I need to score,” Gordon said of his goal. “First, we were down 1-0 and I knew any chance I got I had to put it in the back of the net. It was good to lift the spirit of the team and the fans to give us the energy to go forward in the last few minutes.”

Photo courtesy: San Antonio FC

Jose Escalante:

Escalante had his best match in an SAFC kit on Saturday night. He and Gordon worked well together and hopefully, Powell will use the combination more going forward. Escalante had two shots on target but it is what he did without the ball that was impressive.

Escalante moved well without the ball and was set up perfectly by Gordon on a few chances. On the attack, Jose used his speed and beat several of the Portland defenders down the field. He placed a perfect ball in the box late in the second half for Mikey Lopez but it was stopped by the T2 defense.

His biggest moment came when he kept the ball in play for SAFC, which would eventually set up Bruce’s game-winner in stoppage time. Escalante’s cross could not be cleared as Bruce put the shot home. Despite not getting a goal, let’s hope the Gordon/Escalante combination is something that Darren Powell uses going forward.

Photo courtesy: San Antonio FC

Alex Bruce:

After scoring his first pro goal in his first professional start a few weeks ago, SAFC fans saw first hand just how special 19-year-old Alex Bruce is. And after his heroics on Saturday, the Alex Bruce era has truly arrived.

Jose Escalante’s cross was knocked down and couldn’t be cleared by Portland. Bruce kept his control and nailed home a goal past Mangels to complete the comeback. The goal was the second of his pro career and likely the biggest as well.

“It’s an amazing feeling, definitely better than my first goal,” Bruce said. “Getting points for the team and just how hard we worked this week just showed out there on the field.”


San Antonio FC is now 4-3-5 (17 points) on the season and will return to the pitch on Wednesday night when they welcome FC Dallas of Major League Soccer to Toyota Field for the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at 7:30 p.m. CT.

The club will return to USL play on June 16 when they welcome Sacramento Republic FC (6-3-4, 22 points) to Toyota Field at 7:30 p.m. CT.

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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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