SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio FC saw its season come to an end with a 4-1 loss in penalty kicks to OKC Energy FC in the Western Conference Semifinals in front of 7,032 fans at Toyota Field on Saturday night.
The loss is a heartbreaking way for SAFC to end their best season in their short two year history. The club finished with the fewest losses in the league, number two seed, and earned their first playoff win in franchise history. The future for San Antonio FC is bright, but right now – it stings to go out on penalties.
“I’m bitterly disappointed for all of those players in that locker room,” SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell said. “You put a lot of work over several months, and it comes down to penalty kicks whether you advance and continue the season.”
San Antonio opened the scoring in the eighth minute when Cesar Elizondo scored off a deflected shot, which got past OKC goalkeeper C.J. Cochrane to put the home side up a goal.
There was deja vu among many as OKC leveled the score late, just as they head done back in July. This time it was a Wojciech Wojcik header that just got over the outstretched glove of SAFC goalkeeper Diego Restrepo, forcing a 1-1 tie and extra time.
Neither team got the go-ahead goal in the extra 30 minutes, meaning penalties would decide the winner. Rafa Castillo scored the lone goal for SAFC in the skills competition and OKC converted all four to knock out San Antonio FC.
“It’s tough, the seasons over, not much to say, I am just sad that it’s over; we’re upset,” SAFC midfielder Ryan Roushandel said. “Obviously, it’s just not a good result. Hearts are broken, broken for the club, the organization, the fans, everybody. But it’s the cruelest way to end in a game of sports, I think.”
- Match notes: San Antonio FC finishes with a playoff record of 1-1-0. SAFC is 0-2 all-time in penalty kicks in franchise history, also losing out to the Tulsa Roughnecks in the U.S. Open Cup. OKC remains the only team SAFC has never beaten, going 0-2-5 through seven matches.
Up next: The offseason. San Antonio FC will return to the pitch in 2018 for their third season in the Alamo City.