Statement made on soccer field: San Antonio outshines Austin

San Antonio FC, Austin FC went to extra time to settle their first-ever matchup

Goalkeepers Jordan Farr and Matt Cardone celebrate as SAFC defeats Austin FC in their first ever match against each other on April 20, 2022 at Toyota Field. (Mark Mendez, Copyright 2022 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – It must have been a quiet, frustrating car ride for Austin FC fans as they drove home up Interstate 35 with a loss.

On the other hand, San Antonio FC fans were jubilant exiting Toyota Field.

On Wednesday night, San Antonio FC accomplished something they hadn’t before: they defeated an MLS club. Doing so against Austin FC, the MLS club soccer fans in San Antonio say we were cheated out of during bidding, just made the win even sweeter.

SAFC defeated Austin FC in extra time 2-1 in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in front of 7,922 fans, the largest crowd at Toyota Field this season.

“It’s a massive moment and it’s fantastic that the city of San Antonio gets to share this moment and it feels great,” said SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina. “I’m so proud of the players, they left everything they had on the field. Thankful to the fans, they were loud, we needed that especially going into overtime. Our players feed off of that, the energy. Tonight was electric.”

The win definitely did not come easy. Both squads had few opportunities to score in the first half. Then, in the 47th minute, Austin FC’s Diego Fagundez got his team on the board with a shot that just got by SAFC goalkeeper Jordan Farr. It was the first time a team scored on him in three games. After the Austin FC goal, their fans, who mainly occupied sections 121 and 122 from top to bottom, celebrated emphatically on a quiet Toyota Field. The Austin FC fans that made the journey to the Alamo City were loud, supported their team with their chants and didn’t sit down throughout the match.

It was all San Antonio FC after that.

In the 82nd minute, forward Justin Dhillon found forward Elliott Collier for their first goal to tie things up. Collier leads the team with four goals across all competitions so far this season. After the goal, the SAFC defense warded off Austin FC’s offensive attacks, including some great stops by Farr in the 89th and 90th-minutes.

“It was pretty euphoric. When we scored the first goal I think I almost cried,” said SAFC defender Mitchell Taintor. “It was crazy hearing all the fans at Toyota Field. It was something truly special.”

“The approach is more mental than tactical,” added SAFC defender Carter Manley on the plan after tying the game. “It was a great deal of resilience to grind that out. That last 15 minutes, we had players going down, cramping. You got to want it more than the other guy, you have to be willing to fight even though you’re dead.”

Six minutes into extra time, defender Mitchell Taintor headed a ball across the front of the Austin FC net, where defender Carter Manley scored the tie-breaking goal with a header of his own, 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 into extra time, and all the way to literally the very end, including Austin FC’s two shots on goal just seconds before the final whistle blew.

“It’s an expectation. Top keepers come up with big saves in key moments and Jordan did that for us,” Marcina explained. “Collectively, our press was fantastic. The guys were mentality monsters and they’re going to enjoy this moment, recover and now we got to focus on New Mexico.”

SAFC will now resume their USL schedule as they play on the road this coming Saturday at 8 p.m. at New Mexico United.

Late Thursday morning, the announcement was made on the matchups for the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. San Antonio FC will travel down 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 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.