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San Antonio Hits High Notes at Home

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 04/16/17, 1:28PM EDT


Takes top spot in West after defeating Reno to close home stand

Photo courtesy Darren Abate / San Antonio FC

SAN ANTONIO – After needing 10 games to reach double-digit points in the club’s inaugural USL season, and another three to register its third win of the season, San Antonio FC accomplish both on Saturday night.

A crowd of 6,403 fans at Toyota Field saw the side move to the top of the Western Conference with a 4-0 win against Reno 1868 FC as Cesar Elizondo’s two goals and Billy Forbes’ goal and assist continued the strong start to the club’s sophomore season.

“This is our house, we have to protect it,” said Forbes. “When we play at home, we don’t lose, it’s that simple. Whether we have to fight and get a draw, or whatever it is, we don’t lose at home. We’re sticking to it.”

SAFC managed just that over its three-game home stand, taking seven points from nine after a win against the LA Galaxy II and a draw against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. With three goals and two assists to start the season, Forbes has been at the heart of those performances, and Saturday was no different. 

The Turks and Caicos international scored a fine individual effort to put SAFC ahead 11 minutes before halftime as he knifed through the Reno defense from the left flank. After a relatively even opening half-hour the goal was to prove decisive.

“We capitalized on the chances that we had and we scored the goals at the right times,” said SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell. We’ve stood here before on different occasions, and goals do change games, and that certainly happened tonight.”

Elizondo’s second had a similar effect, coming shortly after SAFC goalkeeper Matt Cardone had been forced into a good save to deny Reno’s Junior Burgos, whose curling effort would have snuck just under the crossbar for an equalizer. Instead, a perfectly-weighted pass by Forbes played in Elizondo for a calm finish and a two-goal lead midway through the second half.

Photo courtesy Darren Abate / San Antonio FC

Two more late goals, first by Elizondo and then by Rafael Castillo from the penalty spot, put the game out of reach, and lifted SAFC to the top of the Western Conference, one point ahead of Swope Park, Real Monarchs and Sacramento.

With the season still less than a month old, though, Powell is more concerned by the club’s three-game road trip that kicks off in Vancouver next weekend than the side’s position in the standings.

“We know how hard it is to get points in this league,” said Powell. “Our job is to go into the next game and get focused. It’s very early and I think the league will start to take shape a couple of months in.”

With Forbes full of confidence, though, it wouldn’t be surprising if San Antonio is in exactly the same place when it returns to Toyota Field to host Sacramento in a massive clash on Saturday, May 6.

“I think the team is coming along really well,” said Forbes. “We’re really dangerous going forward so it’s all about sticking to the game plan and I think we should be great.”

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