USL PLAYOFFS: SAFC making return trip to Western Conference Final

SAFC defeats Oakland at sold out Toyota Field Friday night.

SAFC fans celebrate as San Antonio won 3-0 over Oakland at Toyota Field to advance to the 2022 USL Western Conference Final. (William Caldera, Copyright 2022 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – It was another packed house at Toyota Field for San Antonio FC’s first playoff game this season. 8,208 fans attended Friday after 8,015 fans filled Toyota Field in the team’s season finale nearly two weeks ago.

SAFC defeated the Oakland Roots SC 3-0 in their Western Conference Semifinal match. San Antonio was coming off their playoff bye week while Oakland earned their right to play SAFC after defeating San Diego late Sunday night 3-0.

“Goals change games, mentality monsters feed off that excitement, that energy,” said head coach Alen Marcina Friday night. “Our guys remained committed to our identity because we preached prior to the game is that Oakland is coming here, we have a totally different styles of play. We’re going to force Oakland to play our way because we feel the odds are in our favor if you play our game.”

“The guys performed extremely well and definitely earned the result,” Marcina added.

The scoring came early Friday as forward Samuel Adeniran found the back of the net just two minutes into the match. Adeniran scored three times against Oakland in two matches during the regular season. San Antonio took that 1-0 lead into halftime.

“It was chaos really, I don’t even know who it came off last before it came over to me‚” said Adeniran on his first half goal. “I just turned and shot it. I’m just glad it went in. There’s a lot of nerves coming into a playoff game so to get a goal in the first ten minutes is everything. It brings a lot of pressure down.”

Fellow forward Santiago Patiño did all the scoring after the break. His first postseason goal of 2022 came in the 75th minute when Patiño fired a shot from outside the box that flew to the top right corner of the net passed the Oakland goalkeeper to make it 2-0 SAFC. In the 90th minute Patiño struck again, scoring from the left side of the box uncontested to make it 3-0.

“I don’t believe I had the best first half but I kept pushing,” said Patiño. “Just going, keep trying, keep fighting for the team and the opportunities came, I was able to finish them.”

Patiño now has five total postseason goals for SAFC, a new club record.

San Antonio FC forward Santiago Patiño scored two goals in the second half, as the Alamo City club defeated Oakland Roots SC to punch their tickets to the 2022 USL Championship Western Conference Final.

Goalkeeper Jordan Farr had three saves and one clearance Friday night, his first clean sheet for San Antonio this postseason.

“It feels really good in this dominant performance all the way around‚” said Farr. “This is a place you want to play in, in the playoffs, in big games. I’m just really happy that I performed well and hopefully we can move pass this and think about the next game because we want to lift a trophy here.”

San Antonio will face the winner of Saturday’s Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC and Sacramento Republic FC match. Tickets for the Western Conference Final go on sale Saturday morning at 10 a.m. through TicketMaster.com or the San Antonio FC website. The WCF match will be held on Sunday, November 6 at 7:30 p.m. at Toyota Field.

This will be the second straight year San Antonio reaches the Western Conference Final, after losing the WCF on the road in late November of 2021.

“It’s the first time in club history we go back-to-back to the Western Conference Championship,” said Marcina. “What’s most important is that we get to do this in front of the best fans in the league - our fans. We’re ecstatic as a collective that we get to play again.”

Daniel P. Villanueva has worked with KSAT 12 for over 19 years and is an award-winning producer. To submit story ideas, email dvillanueva@ksat.com


About the Authors:

Daniel P. Villanueva has been with KSAT 12 since 2003 and is the producer of our weekly sports show, "Instant Replay." Villanueva is a graduate of St. Mary's University and is a TAPB and Lone Star Emmy award winner.

William Caldera has been at KSAT since 2003. He covers a wide range of stories including breaking news, weather, general assignments and sports.