AUSTIN – After watching their two-goal lead evaporate in the second half of a critical early-season road game, San Antonio FC didn’t blink.
Midfielder Cristian Parano gave the Alamo City club the lead for good with a blast from outside the box in the 74th minute of play, and San Antonio defeated their South Texas rivals Austin Bold FC 4-2 at Bold stadium Saturday night. With the win, SAFC improves to 3-0-1 on the season and remains atop the Group D standings with 10 points.
San Antonio’s offense was clicking right out of the gates. Luis Solignac tallied the opening goal in the 23rd minute by corralling a pass inside the box and putting it past Austin’s keeper. Four minutes later, SAFC struck again thanks to a pair of local products. Starting for the first time this season, Central Catholic High School standout Jose Gallegos found Blake Smith cutting to the net, and the Boerne native slotted his shot to the far post for a two-goal lead. Former San Antonio forward Billy Forbes recorded Austin’s only goal of the first half in the 36th minute, but SAFC still returned to the locker room up 2-1 at halftime.
After Austin equalized on an own goal in the 54th minute of play, both teams remained deadlocked on the scoreboard until Parano’s shot. The 20-year old midfielder has now scored two goals in the past three games and has factored into at least one scoring play in every one of San Antonio’s games since their season resumed. Solignac added another goal in the 84th minute to secure the victory and three points.
“I think it was a fantastic win,” said head coach Alen Marcina. “Austin is a very good team, very well coached and organized. At the end of the day I’m really proud of my guys. They were committed – 95-plus minutes of intensity – and we got the job done.”
“We earned the three points which is the important thing, especially on the road because that helps a ton,” said Solignac. “It wasn’t our neatest win, and we could’ve done better to control the match when we head the early lead, but we fought until the end and got the win to keep adding points, which is what’s important.”
The four goals scored in this match mark SAFC’s best offensive output of the season. Prior to Saturday, San Antonio had only scored one goal in each of the previous three matches.
San Antonio will continue their three-game road trip against the second-ranked team in Group D, OKC Energy FC on Saturday, Aug. 8 at 7 p.m.