SAN ANTONIO – With San Antonio FC minutes away from losing their first game of the 2020 season, young midfielder Jose Gallegos delivered.
The Central Catholic product scored his first goal of the season in the 92nd minute, drilling a one-timer off a redirected corner kick to draw San Antonio level and salvage a draw against Austin Bold FC at Toyota Field on Saturday night. As a result, San Antonio (15 points) improves to 4-0-3 on the season and extends their lead over Tulsa in the Group D standings to six points.
For the first time all year, San Antonio found themselves in an unfamiliar situation: trailing on the scoreboard. In the 39th minute of play, former-SAFC, now Austin, forward Billy Forbes sent a cross in front of goal that ricocheted off San Antonio defender Blake Smith and high into the air. Xavier Baez then struck the ball before it touched the ground, blasting a shot past goalkeeper Matt Cardone to give Austin a 1-0 lead.
That score held up as the lone goal of the match until Gallegos’ tally in stoppage time. Ignacio “Nacho” Bailone was credited with an assist on the equalizer. It’s Gallegos’ second career goal with San Antonio.
“I didn’t really expect the ball to fall to me, but in those situations, you have to be ready,” Gallegos said. “Thank God it fell to me and I was ready, and it ended up going in. We won at their house, so we knew they were going to come here hungry, and that’s what they showed today. We showed great fight and we kept going until the last minute.”
“It’s always a special moment when we have the opportunity to play at home,” head coach Alen Marcina explained. “We always want to put our best foot forward and be a strong representation of our fans and our community. I thought the guys did well tonight.”
Cardone started in goal for the second time this season and recorded three impressive saves over an eight-minute stretch in the first half. Dayne St. Clair, who had started in goal for San Antonio in five straight matches, was recalled to Minnesota United FC earlier Saturday afternoon.
San Antonio FC will continue their three-game home stand with a match against OKC Energy FC on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. Fans are once again not allowed to attend due to health and safety precautions stemming from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.