Match Day 4 for San Antonio FC and it was a quick road trip up I-35 to Austin to face rival Austin Bold in the I-35 derby. This is the fourth overall match between the two clubs. SAFC and Austin split the regular season series and the Bold had the edge in the US Open Cup. A budding rivalry that adds the intrigue of the Bold having four former San Antonio FC players on the squad.
San Antonio FC was coming off a 1-0 victory over Rio Grande Valley FC. Austin Bold had not played since July 17th against OKC Energy. The Bold had not played due to some positive tests for Covid-19 and the team only had two days to prepare for the match. They had not practiced in the last two weeks.
San Antonio FC struck first, the goal came in the 23rd minute when Di Renzo came up the right side and crossed it over to Solignac, the cross was a little short but Bold defender Garcia misplayed the ball and landed right on Solignac’s feet. Solignac had a great first touch with his back to goal and make a quick turn around to open just enough space from McFarlane who was marking Solignac. The shot went to the far post and past a diving Diego Restrepo.
Second goal for SAFC came just four minutes later when Joe Gallegos and Blake Smith linked up for a goal. Smith began a quick and perfect 1-2 pass with Gallegos, Smith received ball with McFarlane and Garcia marking him. Smith was able to spin and take a low shot with his left foot that Restrepo was unable to get to.
Billy Forbes cut into the SAFC lead in the 36th minute when he scored his first goal in an Austin Bold kit. Xavier Baez was able to get a free kick over the SAFC defense to find Billy Forbes, who one touched with his left foot to get the Bold right back into the match. Forbes had an outstanding match against his former club. He was a threat all first half and almost scored earlier on shot from the 18 where St. Clair was able to stretch and make an excellent save to prevent Forbes finding the back of the net.
San Antonio FC maintained a 2-1 lead until the 52nd minute when Bold defender Jome came up far on the left side almost to SAFC’s end line and attempted a low cross and the ball took a short hop on Yaro as he slide to make a clearance and the ball ended up clipping his leg and found its way to the back of the net tying up the match at 2-2.
Austin Bold was fighting to keep the draw and at least salvage one point but were starting to look exhausted after a two week layoff. In the 74th minute, Gallegos was able to intercept the ball in the Bold’s final third and made a pass to Herivaux who came in the 45th minute. Herivaux made a quick pass to Victor Giro “PC”, the Bold defense looked tired and didnt put much pressure on Giro, Giro found Cristian Parano who took a wicked left foot shot from about 20 yards out hitting the upper right corner.
In the 84th minute, St. Clair punted the ball past the midline to find Bailone. who came in just two minutes prior. Nacho was able to feed the ball to Solignac who beat an already exhausted Bold defense to seal the win for San Antonio FC. Solignac finished the night with a brace and was named Man of the Match for the former Chicago Fire striker.
Post match Quotes
SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina
(On the win…)
“I think it was a fantastic win. 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.”
(On the intensity of the game…)
It’s two teams who are very passionate. Its two quality teams competing for three points. Our guys did a great job managing their emotions late and getting three points.”
SAFC Forward Luis Solignac
(On the win…)
“We earned the three points which is the important thing, especially on the road because that helps a ton. 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.”
(On the team’s mentality…)
“It’s important to win on the road because it builds you up. We’re strong at home and being able to go on the road and get wins is crucial for our morale. We’re very happy, we’re working hard, we’re intense, and now we’ll rest happily.”
What went right
St. Clair’s play. Although Billy Forbes scored and an own goal accounted for the Bold’s scoring. St. Clair had a great game making excellent saves against Forbes who was tenacious all evening.
Crisp passing and creation. SAFC had a 83% pass completion rate and the build up to goals were outstanding, this team is starting to hit all cylinders. As this squad gets more minutes together the passing will only get more lethal and wearing out defenses who cant make stops.
Subs came in and made an impact. Every coaches’ dream for thier subs to make an impact on the match. Both Herivaux and Bailone were involved in SAFC’s second half goals. Herivaux with the quick set up pass to PC’s assist and Bailone with the assist to Solignac’s second goal.
It was a near flawless match for SAFC but they did allow Austin Bold to get back into the match after being up two goals. Bold is a talented team that was missing players due to injury and illness. The Bold’s bench was sparse. Bold are a talented team that hadn’t played in two weeks and only had two days to prepare.
A night of firsts
First time SAFC and Bold faced each other in 2020
First win at Bold for SAFC
First goal for Blake Smith in a SAFC kit
First goal for Solignac and first brace of the season for a SAFC player
First time SAFC scored for than one goal in a match
SAFC sits in first place five points clear of FC Tulsa