ALBUQUERQUE — San Antonio FC (2-2-4) completed a three-game road trip and fell 2-0 to New Mexico United (4-2-2) on Wednesday night at Isotopes Park.
For just the second time this season, San Antonio returned home without any points. After three straight draws, they close out their three-game road trip 0-1-2 and have one win in their last nine road matches. SAFC has not won a game since their match against Birmingham on May 22.
There’s a lot of great opponents that we played,” SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina said. “We competed and earned the points that we got. Now we go back to our house and fight to keep our home regular-season unbeaten streak going.”
Once again, San Antonio was out-possessed throughout the entirety of the game. Initially playing on the counter-attack, San Antonio’s game plan only changed when they conceded the first goal of the match in the 33rd minute on Josh Suggs’ goal. After going down 1-0 in the first half, SAFC put more pressure on their opponents than they originally began with.
Despite the gap in possession rate, the match remained a close one as SAFC denied NMU a second goal until the 52nd minute when New Mexico gained a free-kick that was played short to defender Austin Yearwood, who then launched the ball into the upper 90.
Here are three takeaways from Wednesday night’s loss in Albuquerque:
Conceding first on the road
With the exception of San Antonio’s most recent match-up against the Las Vegas Lights, they have conceded first in every away match so far this season. However, this is only their second loss on the road and of the season. Ultimately, San Antonio has not been able to come out on top of a single away match this season.
To begin the match San Antonio sat back, not putting much pressure on their opponent. They looked on the counterattack, but this tactic did not fall in their favor. As New Mexico found the first goal of the match, San Antonio unsuccessfully scrambled to find an equalizer before the end of the first half. Not long into the second half, New Mexico doubled their score as Yearwood buried a second goal into the upper corner.
San Antonio is notorious for their low possession rate as it is not uncommon for them to be out-possessed in a match. The match against NMU was no different as New Mexico dominated the entire game.
The only thing different about this game was that San Antonio hit their all-time low in possession percentage of the season as New Mexico held the ball 71.2% of the time while San Antonio only managed 28.8%.
If San Antonio looks to break their winless four-game streak, they have to start gaining and holding possession. As the saying goes “You can’t score if you don’t shoot”, and you can’t shoot if you don’t have the ball.
Letting chances slip away
Conceding the first goal of the match was not San Antonio’s only obstacle in their match-up against NMU. At times SAFC was their own worst enemy as they failed to capitalize on the opportunities they produced.
The game could have looked very different if San Antonio finished their chances early on. In the 25th minute, Ajax Sjöeburg slotted the ball across the six-yard box, but not a single SAFC player was able to get a quality touch as it was sent way over the crossbar. These are the moments that keep other teams in the game. If the ball had instead found its way into the back of the net, then NMU would be the team scrambling for the equalizer.
“Games like this can only build resilience and help prepare us in the long run. It’s a marathon season, so we will learn,” Marcina said. “We will identify the areas we did well and where we need to improve. Our final actions on both ends of the field are areas we need to improve on, but we will get there. We will be better for it moving forward.”
San Antonio FC will return to the friendly confines of Toyota Field on Saturday night to welcome the RGV FC Toros at 7:30 PM for their third matchup of the season.