San Antonio FC have been earning frequent flyer miles the past month by playing six of seven on the road. They have crossed the nation from sea to shining sea, playing matches from California to New Jersey and in between. Last night the Alamo City Boys found themselves in El Paso for an epic Copa Tejas match against El Paso Locomotive, who came in with a 22 unbeaten home match streak.
El Paso sitting in first was looking to inch closer to winning the division and raising the Copa Tejas for the first time. San Antonio FC was looking to ruin those plans. Goals came quick as SAFC scored two in the first half as Justin Dhillion opened the scoring in the 10th minute and Mathieu Deplagne added one in the 27th.
El Paso’s Macauly King would cut the lead in half in the 57th minute, the equalizer would come in the 73rd by Nick Ross and youngster and thorn in the side for SAFC, Diego Luna scored in the 85th minute. Those two late goals added to SAFC’s woes of giving up goals late in matches.
When it looked like SAFC would travel back empty handed without points, Mitch Taintor made a deep cross into the box finding a diving Kortne Ford, who headed the ball into the back of the net to even the match in stoppage time, at the 94th minute. The Alamo City Boys walked away with a hard earned draw and move into second place in hotly contested Mountain Division.
Despite the draw, El Paso was able to secure its first ever Copa Tejas, which made it’s return after last season’s hiatus. Austin Bold were the previous and first ever Champions.
San Antonio FC will return to Toyota Field on Sunday to face Memphis 901 FC for the first time ever. It is and interconference match up. Memphis sits fourth in the Central Division with 10 wins, 8 draws and 8 losses. SAFC is down to their final five matches with four being played at home. SAFC is second in the Mountain Division with 12 wins, 8 draws and 7 losses; eight points behind leaders El Paso and five points clear of the final playoff spot.
SAFC Head Coach Alen Marcina
(On the match…)
“It was a tale of two halves. In the first half our pressing actions were fantastic. We deserved those two goals and could have got an additional one, but the second half we stopped pressing and the game turned in favor of El Paso. Theres a reason they are one of the best teams. They played well the second half, but at the same time I’m proud of the guys who continue to be resilient to go get the equalizer in stoppage time.”
(On the four points from two road games…)
“Yea we are undefeated in the last five games on the road, four wins and a draw. El Paso are 22 games undefeated at home, so while I think we could have gotten more after the first half, the second half was different. So, a draw is probably fair. Now we learn, reflect and move on.”
Was it me or did Alen Marcina’s offer of a handshake after the match get ignored? And who pulled him away from even approaching the El Paso coach?
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Saw the replay of the match the other day, it appeared like El Paso’s coach waved off the handshake.