SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio FC concluded their three-game homestand with a 1-1 draw against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC at Toyota Field on Saturday night in the first meeting ever between the two clubs.
Despite the result, San Antonio has collected points seven points in their last three matches. Overall, SAFC is 3-1-1 in their last five matches.
“Obviously, Pittsburgh is a very good team, they are number one in their conference,” said SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina. “But, I felt we were the better team. We showed it on the field. Yes, we should have done a better job managing the late minutes. Game management is something we take away as something to improve on. Credit to them their finish was a great finish.”
“We played two number one teams and collected seven points in the last three matches, and that’s pretty good.”
The first half saw both teams feeling each other out. While both had solid chances, the game would remain scoreless going into the locker room after 45 minutes of action. The second half saw SAFC get much more aggressive and that paid off in the 56th minute when the Riverhounds were called for a penalty. Nathan stepped up but put the ball high over the net, keeping the match scoreless.
Nathan made up for his missed chance in the 64th minute when he put home a header off the feed from Marcu Epps, putting San Antonio up 1-0. The goal is Nathan’s eighth goal of the season and he gets back on the score sheet after going scoreless the past two matches.
San Antonio looked poised to sweep their homestand but a last-minute goal by Pittsburgh’s Alex Dixon would see the match end in a 1-1 draw as the Riverhounds took home an important point but left SAFC feeling like they had lost the game.
Three key points from Saturday’s draw against Pittsburgh:
Despite a disappointing result, San Antonio is 3-1-1 in their last five matches and finished their homestand 2-0-1. With a daunting road trip looming in a season that has been filled with challenges, both on and off the pitch.
“I think it shows the resilience of this squad,” Epps said. “The whole team, staff included are very hardworking and very committed. The guys are talented, and staff and players are hungry. I think what you are seeing now from these past couple of games is the hard work paying off.”
Late issues rear their ugly head
It is no secret that SAFC has a long history of conceding late goals and that happened once again on Saturday. It cost them two points and if the club ends up missing out on home-field advantage in the postseason, they can look to any one of those games as a reason why.
Despite that, the club is in a good position as they get ready to hit the road for the next four matches.
“I felt we were the better team,” Marcina said. “We showed it on the field. Yes, we should have done a better job managing the late minutes. Game management is something we take away as something to improve on. Credit to them their finish was a great finish.”
Away we go!
As mentioned above, San Antonio will now take their act on the road for the next four matches. They have struggled on the road for much of the season but as of late, their play has turned around. Included in the road trip is a visit to New York to play the Red Bulls II for the first time in club history.
“There’s a lot of positives that we take into this grueling road trip,” Marcina said. “We play away to Austin in less than two days then we travel basically across the country for three games in eight days. It’s going to be tough, but no excuses on our end. We will face challenges and adversity head-on and continue to collect points.”
San Antonio FC is now 8-5-7 (31 points) on the season and will return to the pitch on Tuesday to face the Austin Bold (6-6-8) at 8 p.m. at Bold Stadium to open a four-game road trip.