SAN ANTONIO – It must have been a quiet and frustrating drive for Austin FC fans as they drove home on Interstate 35 with a loss.
On the other hand, San Antonio FC fans were jubilant as they walked out of Toyota Field.
On Wednesday night, San Antonio FC did something they hadn’t done before: they beat an MLS club. Doing this against Austin FC, MLS club San Antonio football fans say we were cheated in the bidding, which made the win that much sweeter.
SAFC beat Austin FC in extra time 2-1 in the third round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup in front of 7,922 fans, the largest crowd at Toyota Field this season.
“It’s a huge moment and it’s fantastic that the city of San Antonio can share this moment and it feels good,” SAFC head coach Alen Marcina said. “I’m so proud of the players, they left everything on the pitch. Thanks to the fans, they were loud, we needed them especially in extra time. Our players feed on that, on the energy. Tonight was electric.
The victory was certainly not easy. Both teams had few chances to score in the first half. Then, in the 47th minute, Diego Fagundez of Austin FC scored his team with a shot that was just saved by SAFC goalkeeper Jordan Farr. It was the first time a team had scored against him in three games. After the Austin FC goal, their fans, who mostly occupied Sections 121 and 122 from top to bottom, celebrated emphatically on a quiet Toyota Field. Austin FC fans who turned up at Alamo City were loud, supported their team with their chants, and didn’t sit down throughout the game.
It was all San Antonio FC after that.
In the 82nd minute, forward Justin Dhillon found forward Elliott Collier for his first goal to tie the game. Collier leads the team with four goals in all competitions so far this season. After the goal, the SAFC defense fended off Austin FC’s attacking attacks, including some superb saves by Farr in the 89th and 90th minutes.
“It was pretty euphoric. When we scored the first goal, I think I almost cried,” SAFC defender Mitchell Taintor said. “It was crazy to hear all the fans at Toyota Field. It was something really special. »
“The approach is more mental than tactical,” added SAFC defender Carter Manley on the plan after leveling the game. “It took a lot of resilience to pull that off. In the last 15 minutes, we had players falling, cramps. You gotta want it more than the other guy, you gotta be ready to fight even if you’re dead.
Six minutes into extra time, defender Mitchell Taintor headed a ball past the Austin FC net, where defender Carter Manley scored the decisive goal with his own header, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
After that, Austin FC put on the pressure and the SAFC defense held off a barrage of attacks. Farr made some incredible saves, starting in the 26th minute in extra time, all the way to the very end, including both Austin FC shots on goal seconds before the final whistle.
“It’s an expectation. The best keepers made big saves in key moments and Jordan did that for us,” Marcina explained. “Collectively, our press has been fantastic. The guys were mentality monsters and they are going to enjoy this moment, recover and now we have to focus on New Mexico.
SAFC will now resume their USL schedule as they play on the road next Saturday at 8 p.m. at New Mexico United.
Late Thursday morning, the announcement was made about the matchups for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup fourth round. San Antonio FC will take Interstate 10 to face Houston Dynamo FC in the South Central region. The date and time are to be determined.
Daniel P. Villanueva has worked with KSAT 12 for over 18 years and is an award-winning producer. To submit story ideas, email [email protected]
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