San Antonio FC (13-8-7, 47 points) defeated Memphis 901 FC (10-8-9, 38 points) 4-2 on Sunday night at Toyota Field. It was the first ever meeting between the two teams. With the win SAFC moves into second place in the Mountain Division with four games left to play. The second place finisher will host a Playoff Match in November. SAFC leads third place Colorado by 2 points. SAFC and Colorado will play head to head in the final match of the regular season at Toyota Field on October 30th.
San Antonio now has 5 wins in their last 7 matches and have only been beaten once in that same span. Nathan led the way on Sunday night by scoring a second half Brace with goals in the 67' and 86' . Nathan now has 10 League Goals on the season which leads the team. Jose Gallegos and Justin Dhillon also scored for San Antonio in the victory.
Memphis had been unbeaten in their previous 5 matches before losing to SAFC. San Antonio's magic number to clinch a playoff birth is now 5 points.
“I’m proud of the guys for demonstrating attacking resilience,” said SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina. “If you look at the first 15 minutes, we were unfortunate not to be up by multiple goals. Then to concede, we needed to keep working and we deservingly scored one back…I’m just incredibly proud of them to maintain and stay resilient because it’s easy to sometimes doubt yourself and they didn’t.”
Memphis actually began the game on the hot foot when Forward Michael Salazar scored in the 22' to give the visitors the early 1-0. It would be their last on the night. Just 8 minutes later SAFC's Jose Gallegos hit a power shot from the Memphis box to even the game at 1-1, which is where the score remained at Halftime. It was the 5th goal of the year for Gallegos who was played open nicely on the Assist from Midfielder Mathieu Deplagne.
In the second half, San Antonio turned up the heat. SAFC Forward Justin Dhillon scored from the top of the box in the 54' after getting a nifty pass from Midfielder Marcus Epps. Twelve minutes later Nathan would get his first tally of the night from nearly the same spot on the field. The goal extended San Antonio's lead to 3-1 as he converted the fast break chance.
Nathan would secure his Brace in the 86' when again on a fast break he would fire home a shot from outside of the Memphis box to give San Antonio FC a commanding 4-1 lead.
Memphis would earn and convert a late penalty that saw San Antonio Defender Jasser Khmiri pick up his second Yellow Card of the evening, which translated into a Red Card. It was one sour moment from an otherwise terrific night night of football for SAFC who secured three more important points.
Next up for San Antonio FC is a home match against familiar foe FC Tulsa as they meet for the only time in 2021 this coming Saturday night at Toyota Field. The match kicks off at 7:30pm.
901FC: 0-1, Michael Salazar (Kyle Murphy assist) 22’
SAFC: 1-1, Jose Gallegos (Mathieu Deplagne assist) 30’
SAFC: 2-1, Justin Dhillon (Marcus Epps assist) 54’
SAFC: 3-1, Nathan (Justin Dhillon assist) 66’
SAFC: 4-1, Nathan (Marcus Epps assist) 86’
901FC: 4-2, Kadeem Dacres (penalty) 90’
IMAGES: SAN ANTONIO FC TWITTER
PHOTO: DARREN ABATE / INSTAGRAM: @PEAKACTION