For the second straight season San Antonio FC are headed to the Western Conference Final. Except this time, they'll get to play the all-important match at home. SAFC defeated Oakland Roots SC on Friday night at Toyota Field by a score of 3-0 to advance in the USL Championship Playoffs. Samuel Adeniran scored early and Santiago Patiño added a second half brace to put the match away.
SAFC and Oakland played to a 1-1 draw the last time they met at Toyota Field back in June. SAFC left no doubt the second time around. SAFC Forward Samuel Adeniran scored in the 2' when he pounced on a loose ball in the Oakland box and buried a shot into the far corner. Despite the lopsided final scoreline, San Antonio would carry that frail 1-0 lead all the way until the 75' when Santiago Patiño finally put the match away. Patiño hit an immaculate strike from the top of the Oakland box into the top corner of the net to ice the game. He would add one more in the 90' to put an exclamation on the night.
Noted SAFC Manager Alen Marcina after the match, “I think what’s most important is going back to the western conference final. First time in club history to do it back to back. And what’s most import, and I’m most proud of, is we get to do it in front of the best fans in the league. Our fans. We’re ecstatic. We’re ecstatic as a collective that we get this opportunity. To play again.”
The Goals were Patiño's 7th and 8th of the season respectively. Patiño extended his club record for career playoff goals, now leading with five.
Said Patiño after the match, "I don’t believe I had the best first half but I kept pushing because these games are go home or win. So just keep going, keep trying, keep fighting for the team, and you know the opportunities came and I was able to finish. I think Alen has made me grow a lot. As a soccer player, as a person, I’ve grown a lot on the mentality side, and with the confidence he gives me, I just go out and live my own.”
Adeniran scored his team leading 11th Goal of the season. It was his first ever Playoff Goal. There was also some symmetry on the night between the two SAFC Forwards. Patiño Assisted on Adeniran's Goal and Adeniran returned the favor Assisting on Patiño's first Goal of the night.
SAFC Goal Keeper Jordan Farr kept a clean sheet for the 16th time this season, and his second shutout in the playoffs with SAFC.
Said Farr, “Someone mentioned the stat about the first seed having issues in the playoffs. Maybe someone’s thinking ‘oh it feels good to get the first one out of the way’ for me we were only thinking about this game and now we’re only thinking about the next game. It feels really good, it felt good to have a pretty much dominant performance all the way around. Things obviously can go different in a playoff game but I think it’s our mentality that pushes us through these tight moments.”
Next up for San Antonio FC is the Western Conference Final. The match will take place on Sunday November 6th at 7:30pm at Toyota Field. The winner will go on to play in the USL Cup. If San Antonio wins, that Cup Final would also be here at Toyota Field. SAFC will host the winner of the Colorado Springs / Sacramento Republic match which takes place on Saturday night.
Full highlights of San Antonio FC vs Oakland Roots SC are below.
IMAGES - SAN ANTONIO FC TWITTER
PHOTO - DARREN ABATE / INSTAGRAM: @PEAKACTION