San Antonio FC (10-8-12) battled back from an early deficit but ultimately lost a heart breaker to Tulsa Roughnecks (7-9-14) by a score of 4-3 on Wednesday night at ONEOK Field in Oklahoma. SAFC was lead by two players who used to wear a different San Antonio uniform - the San Antonio Scorpions - as veteran players Rafa Castillo and Walter Restrepo combined for three goals in the defeat.
Tulsa stole the show as Midfielder Rodrigo da Costa scored in the 87' - just eight minutes after the restart post-lightning delay, and Tulsa walked away with all three points. The weather delay came late in the second half, frustratingly with only ten minutes remaining in the match. Any momentum the SAFC players had left in the tank was completely stifled by the lengthy delay.
After going down two goals in the first 6 minutes of the match, San Antonio finally decided to wake up and they did so with a fury. Rafa Castillo would score a brace in a 13 minute span and Walter Restrepo would follow that up with a goal of his own to momentarily give San Antonio the lead. For Castillo, it was his second and third goals since returning to the starting lineup three matches ago. This run of games has been a career renaissance for the 39 year old Colombian who had spent the previous three months on the bench.
The game started strong for the home side. Roughnecks Forward Tobenna Uza got things going very quickly when he scored in the second minute of the match off a header from the center of the San Antonio box. It was his third Goal of the season. Before anyone had even caught their breath from that Goal, Tulsa would strike again just three minutes later when Forward Marlon sent home a second goal, his fourth of the season. Before most fans had even taken a sip of beer it was 2-0 Tulsa.
Midfielder Rafa Castillo was not about to let Tulsa run away with the game. In the 13' he would get San Antonio FC going with a clinical shot, Assisted by Midfielder Brian Gomez. Castillo's shot looked to be from an impossible angle, but Castillo showcased his skill and beat Tulsa Keeper Mason Stajduhar. That cut the Tulsa advantage in half to 2-1.
Castillo would make it a brace in the 25', his third goal of the season, after Brian Gomez earned a free kick just outside the Tulsa box. Castillo delivered a sensational bending free kick goal and SAFC was right back in the match at 2-2.
Five minutes later Castillo's old San Antonio Scorpions teammate, Midfielder Walter Restrepo, would dance his way through the Tulsa box and deliver another SAFC Goal to give San Antonio the lead at 3-2. It was a remarkable turnaround in under a half hour of playing time. But it wouldn't last very long.
That was followed up by a Tulsa Penalty Kick on SAFC Captain Michael LaHoud just before Halftime for a foul in the box. It was an unnecessary foul as there was no goal scoring danger and the ball was drifting towards the endline when the foul was committed. It was a tough way to end a resilient half for SAFC. Midfielder Christian Altamirano scored the penalty for Tulsa and that leveled the game at 3-3.
In the second half, lightning struck - literally - in the 79'. Both teams were ordered off the pitch and a long weather delay ensued. Tulsa would be the team that dug deep and recovered best as they found the winning goal in the final ten minutes once play resumed.
This match was was a huge blow to San Antonio FC's playoff hopes. SAFC finishes the night in 11th place which is out of playoff position. The result dims SAFC's playoff chances as only 4 games remain in their season.
San Antonio FC returns to action on Saturday night at Toyota Field for their second to last home game of the season as they take on Fresno Foxes FC. Kickoff is at 7:30PM.
PHOTOS: DARREN ABATE / INSTAGRAM: @PEAKACTION
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