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By San Antonio FC Communications, 08/28/21, 11:15PM CDT


Late Solo Goal from Justin Dhillon Paves the Way for Three Points

San Antonio FC (7-5-6) defeated the first place El Paso Locomotive (12-1-5) 2-1 on Saturday night at Toyota Field after a stoppage time winner from forward Justin Dhillon. A goal from Marcus Epps helped Dhillon and the team seal the three points in the first match for the club since August 8.

“I’m just so proud of the guys,” said SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina. “With what we have had to endure the last few weeks it’s been incredibly difficult. We preach resilience and that’s what the guys showed tonight. They did everything they could on the field. They battled, they fought, and they earned the three points.”

SAFC opened the scoring in the first half when a pass from Jose Gallegos set Epps free down the left hand side. The Mississippi-born midfielder was denied a penalty claim just seconds earlier before he dribbled at a Locomotive defender and calmly slotted the ball into the far post to give the home side the lead. The teams reached halftime with the score still 1-0 in favor of SAFC, but El Paso started brightly in the second half and was able to equalize from a corner kick. Nick Ross’ corner found the head of Sebastian Velasquez who was able to tie the game.

Both sides were searching for a winner in the second half, but it was SAFC who would take the points after an incredible solo effort from Dhillon. A long ball from defender Jasser Khmiri was taken down wonderfully by the forward before he dribbled and went past three El Paso defenders. Dhillon then rifled a shot into the bottom corner in stoppage time to seal the victory and send the fans into pandemonium.

Recently acquired defenders Mitchell Taintor and Kortne Ford made their season debuts on the night while midfielder PC played 45 minutes in his return from injury. Goalkeeper Matthew Cardone appeared in his 99th SAFC match in all competitions, trailing former defender Greg Cochrane who amassed 102 appearances for the club.

Scoring Summary:

SAFC: 1-0, Marcus Epps (Jose Gallegos assist) 32’

ELP: 1-1, Sebastian Velasquez (Nick Ross assist) 54’

SAFC: 2-1, Justin Dhillon (Jasser Khmiri assist) 90’

Disciplinary Summary:

ELP: Yellow Card (Andrew Fox) 24’

SAFC: Yellow Card (PC) 41’

SAFC: Yellow Card (Alen Marcina) 90’

SAFC: Yellow Card (Justin Dhillon) 90’

SAFC Starting XI: GK: Matthew Cardone; D: Connor Maloney, Jasser Khmiri, Mitchell Taintor (Sam Gleadle 66’) (Shandon Hopeau 82’), Kortne Ford, Chris Lema; M: PC (c) (Mohammed Abu 45’), Cam Lindley, Marcus Epps, Jose Gallegos; F: Nathan (Justin Dhillon 73’)

Substitutions not used: Carlos Mercado, Joaquin Varela, Leo Torres

Postgame Notes:

  • SAFC defeated El Paso for the first time this season and only the second time in team history…SAFC has now won five of their last seven matches in league play
  • SAFC midfielder Marcus Epps was named the SWBC Man of the Match in the win…Epps recorded six shots, three shots on target, one goal and five successful dribbles on the night
  • SAFC defender Jasser Khmiri and Jose Gallegos both earned assists on the night while Gallegos led the team with four key passes…Khmiri completed 92.5 percent of his passes and also added a team-high four interceptions
  • SAFC forward Justin Dhillon scored his fourth goal of the season in stoppage time to earn the win…Dhillon added two shots on target and a 100 percent passing accuracy in 18 minutes
  • SAFC defenders Mitch Taintor and Kortne Ford made their season debuts in the win…Ford recorded two tackles, two interceptions and four clearances in 90 minutes…Taintor added three clearances, two interceptions and seven possessions gained
  • SAFC goalkeeper Matthew Cardone made his 99th appearance for the club in all competitions and 95th USL Championship regular season appearances… Cardone is the SAFC all-time leader in regular season appearances and trails only Greg Cochrane for all-time appearances in all competitions…Cochrane amassed 102 appearances in his time with SAFC from 2016-18

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