San Antonio FC (3-1-0, 10 points) defeated Austin Bold FC (1-0-2, 3 points) by a score of 4-2 on Saturday night at Bold Stadium, extending their unbeaten run to open the season. San Antonio Midfielder Cristian Parano scored the stunning match winner in the 74th minute; an incredible strike from distance. Luis Solignac scored a brace, his first two goals of the season. And Blake Smith also scored for San Antonio in the opening half to help pave the way for the SAFC victory. With the win, San Antonio increased their lead at the top of Group D to 5 points. It was also San Antonio's first ever win at Bold Stadium in their third game at the venue. San Antonio will play Austin three more times in 2020 due to the revised regional scheduling.
The match took awhile to get going. There were only two shots in the first twenty minutes of the game and both belonged to Austin. First was Diouf at the ten minute mark, a take he hit wide from just outside the box. And then former SAFC player Billy Forbes hit a shot on target towards the top left corner at the twenty minute mark that was very well saved by SAFC Keeper Dayne St Clair. The goals would begin to pile up soon thereafter.
Austin Defender Jermaine Taylor couldn't control a ball deep in his own end, a rare mistake from the talented player, and SAFC Forward Luis Solignac pounced on the ball and slotted it home for the 1-0 lead. Both teams barely had a chance to catch their breath before Blake Smith was doubling San Antonio's lead less than ten minutes later. It was each player's first goal of the young season.
Former SAFC player Billy Forbes made sure the game wasn't a runaway when he scored a one-touch goal in the six yard box off of a pretty free kick from Xavier Baez in the 36th minute, cutting San Antonio's lead to 2-1 at Halftime. In a bit of sports poetry, it was the first goal for Forbes since leaving San Antonio.
In the second half, things started poorly for San Antonio as Defender Joshua Yaro was the victim of an own goal in the 52nd minute which leveled the game at 2-2. Later, St Clair did just enough to alter a Billy Forbes shot on a breakaway to preserve the tie in the 70th minute.
That would set up Parano for his dramatic match winner four minutes later; his second goal of the season. Solignac would add his second goal of the night in the 84th minute to put the game out of reach. The four goals scored by San Antonio was easily their highest single game output of the season so far.
Next up for San Antonio FC is the second of three straight road matches when they travel to face OKC Energy next Saturday night- a big early season match-up between the two teams at the top of Group D. The winner next week will gain a big early season advantage towards winning the Group. San Antonio will enter the match ahead by 5 points and with a game in hand. They can extend their lead over OKC to 8 points with a victory.
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PHOTOS: DARREN ABATE, INSTAGRAM: @PEAKACTION