For the second week in a row San Antonio was forced to play in chilly and windy conditions, but it won't compare to the chill they surely felt on the ride back home to San Antonio after losing to Austin 1-0 in the first ever Copa Tejas match for both teams. Austin delighted their sold out crowd in their inaugural home match at Bold Stadium when Forward Kleber Giacomazzi scored the winner in the 77' simultaneously sending San Antonio to their third straight loss. The match ends a dismal opening month for San Antonio FC that saw them earn only one single point in four matches.
San Antonio Midfielder and captain Michael Lahood tried to find the positives after the match, saying "You get zero points for feeling sorry for yourself. It always hurts to fall short when you put in a good performance. This was a night-and-day difference from our performance last weekend and it was more true to the version of a team we are."
San Antonio FC made several lineup changes in the match from last week, none bigger than Jonathan Viscosi taking over for Matt Cardone in goal. It was somewhat surprising seeing as Cardone was coming off of his best game of the season after making five saves in the match against Colorado. Still, he couldn't stop the eventual game winner and Manager Darren Powell decided to make the change.
Three other SAFC players got their first starts for the team as well. Midfielder Michael Lahoud wore the captain armband in place of an injured Pecka. Midfielder Leeroy Marguraushe also got his first start with the team. As did Midfielder Brian Gomez. Gomez was announced just this past Thursday as a new signing for SAFC. Powell wasted no time getting him involved. And with no official Forward starting in the match, Midfielder Cristian Parano was pushed up top to start this one.
In the end, it didn't make a difference on the scoreboard as San Antonio lost for the third straight match and went scoreless for the second straight match, completing the two match road trip with no goals.
Although Ever Guzman and Lance Laing would both enter the match in the second half, fans will likely be questioning the decision by Powell to relegate both marquee players to the bench for the beginning of such an important rivalry match.
Powell didn't mince words after the match, saying "We are bitterly disappointed. Every player is putting in a lot of effort to represent this club. We're working hard but we need to find ways to win games, and if everybody keeps up their work ethic and commitment the positive results will come."
Austin Midfielder Xavier Baez had the first great chance of the match in the 11' when he brought a cross down cleanly in the box. He had a tremendous look at goal but put his shot wide. In the 20' SAFC Midfielder Jack Barmby had the first chance for the visitors when a mis-clearance by an Austin Defender landed right at his foot in the box. Barmby hit a volley in stride but Diego Restrepo was able to make the save diving to his left.
In the 31' the Bold again got close but a three man collision while battling for a pop up pass intended for Austin Forward Promise Isaac saw the ball fall harmlessly away from the San Antonio net.
In the 42' SAFC Midfielder Billy Forbes got free on the Austin endline and made a pass back into the Austin box that looked like it was going to be a perfect setup for an open goal scoring opportunity, but no one for San Antonio could catch up with the pass and it dribbled out of the Austin box with no further danger attached to it.
Despite San Antonio holding a 55%-45% possession advantage and leading in shots 7-1 at the break, neither team found a final touch in the opening 45 minutes and it was 0-0 at halftime.
Austin came out firing in the second half as Kleber Giacomazzi was met by SAFC keeper Viscosi coming off his line to break up what would have been an open opportunity in front of San Antonio's net. Viscosi won the race and did just enough to clear the danger.
In the 55', after a yellow card on SAFC Defender Moises Hernandez for a hard challenge, Austin had a free kick on the right wing near the San Antonio box. The set piece was well defended and once again Austin was denied.
Gomez nearly scored on his debut in the 63' minute when a crisp pass found him streaking open in the Austin box but his near side chance went just wide of the net.
SAFC finally put a true Forward in the match when Guzman came on in the 65' but it was Austin's star Forward Kleber who would get the match winning goal in the 77'.
SAFC had a flurry of late chances to equalize including a blast by Midfielder Walter Restrepo, a second half sub, that went just over the Austin bar.
San Antonio FC returns home next Saturday night against Las Vegas Lights FC.
ABFC: 1-0, Kleber (Sean McFarlane assist 78')
SAFC: Yellow Card (Leeroy Maguraushe 25')
SAFC: Yellow Card (Moises Hernandez 54')
ABFC: Yellow Card (Sean McFarlane 59')
IMAGES: SAN ANTONIO FC TWITTER