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San Antonio FC Dumps Austin FC Out of US Open Cup With 2-1 Win

San Antonio FC may have lost their MLS bid to Austin FC, but when it came to a head to head game on the field, they had different plans. San Antonio FC won a historic match at a sold out Toyota Field in front of 7,922 incensed fans by defeating Austin FC 2-1 in the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup on Wednesday night. It took 120 minutes to do it, but San Antonio untimately came out on top, earning their first ever win over an MLS team. Elliott Collier scored the equalizer for SAFC in the 82' after Austin took a 1-0 lead early in the second half. Carter Manley scored the historic match winner in the 1st half of Extra Time in the 96'.

San Antonio advances to the 4th Round of the competition which begins on May 10th. They won't have to wait long to find out their next opponent. The draw for the 4th Round will occur Thursday at 11AM Central Time.

San Antonio are 1-2 all time against MLS teams in competitve matches. They have lost to Dallas and Houston but now have a win over their largest rival Austin FC on their mantle. SAFC have won at least one game every year they've played in the Open Cup but they have never won more than two Open Cup games in the same season. They'll have a chance to top that mark in their next Open Cup game. Chances are they will face either Dallas or Houston from MLS in the 4th Round, but it is not a certainty. We'll also find out whether SAFC will get another home match or if they'll have to travel.

San Antonio is now 3-2 all time in Third Round of the US Open Cup.

SAFC Manager Alen Marcina spoke after the win. It’s a massive moment and it is fantastic that the city of San Antonio gets to share this moment. It feels great, and I am just so proud of the players. They left everything out on the field, and just so proud of the collective … our front office putting on this great atmosphere, thankful for the fans, supporter groups how they were loud, especially going into overtime they were so loud. Our players feed off the energy. We’re incredibly thankful. All in all a special night that we’ll all cherish and remember.”

It was the first Open Cup game in the short history of Austin FC in MLS. Austin received a bye to the Third Round while San Antonio FC earned their way on the field by defeating DKSC of UPSL on April 5th in the Second Round of the tournament by a score of 3-1. There are still 8 more teams from MLS cruising through the tournament on multi-round byes that will enter the Open Cup in the 4th Round.

In addition to being regional rivals, these two Clubs will always be bitterly linked in the eyes of fans and politicians alike by the backdrop of how Austin FC landed in MLS while keeping San Antonio out. While San Antonio FC had a formal bid in place throughout the MLS expansion process, no such bid existed for Austin FC. They were awarded a team anyway to appease then Colombus Crew owner Anthony Precourt who had a secret clause allowing him to move a team to Austin. Precourt was also on the MLS Expansion Committee at the time which came to be viewed by many as an obvious conflict of interest. Once that clause came to light San Antonio City leaders cried foul and called the process a case of "dirty politics." Needless to say, the wounds for local soccer fans and San Antonio leadership cut deep and will not heal anytime soon.

For all of those reasons and more, San Antonio fans will feel satisfied with this victory. A small bit of payback to help right some prior wrongs.

SAFC's Mitchell Taintor weighed in on the rivalry. Austin’s an hour up the road. San Antonio is my favorite city in Texas, I’m sure a lot of guys will say the same thing that it’s home. I think Austin and San Antonio will always have a rivalry just because of how close they are. But they’re an MLS opponent to so that adds to that, we want to win those games. We want to win every game, but especially against an MLS opponent that’s right up the street, we want to prove that we can be on that level too.”

The match was tied 0-0 at halftime. Austin came out of the gate strong in the first 5 minutes of the match but by the 15 minute mark San Antonio FC had settled down and the by the 30th minute they were looking downright dangerous. They had an advantage in Corner Kicks at the break 4-2 showing they were just as capable of being the aggressors in this match as their opponent.

In the second half, Austin FC took the wind out of the stadium and out of SAFC when Diego Fagundez scored in the 47' to give the visitors the 1-0 lead. It looked like that was going to be enough. But then SAFC's leading goal scorer across all competitions would add one more. Elliott Collier toe poked a cross from Justin Dhillon in the 82' minute to send Toyota Field into a frenzy and level the game at 1-1 with just 8 minutes remaining in regulation time. It was his team leading 4th goal of the season.

With the match tied, an extra 30 minutes were added on. But Carter Manley only needed 6 to put his name into the San Antonio FC history books and into the hearts of fans forever. The play started on a corner kick set piece that was directed out away from goal. Abu sent it back into the box with a long pass, then Mitchell Taintor headed it across the box and Manley headed it home into the lower corner of the net, beating Austin FC Keeper Andrew Tarbell for the match winner.

San Antonio FC Keeper Jordan Farr finished off the win spectacularly, making several clutch saves in a row at the death of the game to seal the historic win for the city of San Antonio.

Said Manley after the match, That was incredible we worked so hard for 90 minutes to fight back and bring the game to overtime. Then another 15, with players going down, cramping, just grinding through the end. It was incredible, it was an amazing experience. The fans made it so much better with the energy and the atmosphere they created.”

Next up for SAFC is a return to League play where they have won two straight games and five of their first six. They'll look to keep that hot streak going as they travel to face New Mexico United this Saturday night. The match kicks off at 8pm and can be seen on ESPN Plus.



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