San Antonio FC (14-1-3, 43 points) kicked off the second half of their season on Saturday night at Toyota Field with a dominant 5-0 win over Atlanta United 2 (4-3-14, 15 points). It was the first ever meeting between the two Clubs. San Antonio had two players, Santiago Patiño and Samuel Adeniran, score a brace. It's the first time ever that two different players have done that in the same match for SAFC. Justin Dhillon also scored for SAFC in the lopsided victory.
Dhillon leads SAFC in Goals with six but Patiño and Adeniran are hot on his heels, now with four Goals each. Adeniran, who joined SAFC in June, has only appeared in six matches and has obviously had a huge impact on the team in his short time in San Antonio. But together, they are even better. The two Strikers have combined for six Goals in their last six games.
It's the fourth straight win overall for San Antonio FC and they remian in first place in USL West with a four point lead over Colorado. It was the 9th clean sheet of the season for SAFC.
Said Manager Alen Marcina after the match, “I thought we dominated from start to finish. Our pressing action is fantastic, it made it incredibly difficult for them to build and push numbers forward. Got to be a little better on those final actions, but all in all very positive. Proud of the guys, it’s 3 points against a young talented team.”
Adeniran got things going early on for SAFC when he scored off a Connor Maloney Assist in the 13' minute. Just three minutes later Patiño got on the end of a PC Assist to make it 2-0 with the most spectatcular strike of the night, scoring from outside the Atlanta box. In the 33rd minute Patiño would add a PK Goal securing his brace and the rout was on with San Antonio up 3-0.
In the second half Adeniran would find his brace in the 51' off a Mohammed Abu Assist. The brilliant pass found Adeniran in the Atlanta box and he flicked a header past Keeper Vicente Reyes for the Goal. Dhillon would close out the scoring in the 88' when he won the ball off an Atlanta Defender deep in their own end and scored from a wide angle to atone for his missed Penalty Kick in the 71'.
As dominant as SAFC were tonight, it could have been much worse for Atlanta. Patiño had a Goal waived off for Offside in the opening half and Justin Dhillon missed the aforementioned second half Penalty Kick, skying his shot well over the Atlanta goal. And a couple of nice saves from Reyes, including a save from a point blank header, also helped keep the scoreline from being much uglier.
Adeniran talked about how he fits in with the team after the match. “To be honest I think I am just another one of the guys and just, you know, we all fit in different ways. The way I fit in best is running in behind and, you know, holding the ball up and obviously arriving in the box. Another thing is we play with three strikers we have to move around and switch around all the time, but I think the good thing is you know we can all play in those different positions. I can play in the center, Santi[ago Patiño] can play in the center, Justin [Dhillon] can play in the center and Nacho [Ignacio Bailone] as well, so I think it makes it easy for us to move around.”
Next up for San Antonio FC is their first road match since June and it could be a historic one for San Antonio. They will travel to play El Paso in a Copa Tejas match next Saturday night. If SAFC can win that match they will be crowned 2022 Copa Tejas Winners and will earn the first trophy in Club History. San Antonio FC defeated El Paso 1-0 at Toyota Field in April. The match will kick off at 8:30pm. It's the first of two straight road matches for SAFC.
Full match highlights from the Atlanta game are below.
IMAGES: SAN ANTONIO FC
PHOTO: DARREN ABATE / INSTAGRAM: @PEAKACTION