Corinthians FC of San Antonio scored twice in the second half to secure its first win of the season, 2-1, against the Fort Worth Vaqueros in the National Premier Soccer League’s Game of the Week on Friday night at Martin Field.
“We are happy,” San Antonio assistant coach Jorge Valtorna said. “I think today we played like a team.”
San Antonio (1-2-0, 3 points) trailed 1-0 four minutes into the game after Fort Worth’s Corwin Carbonnell headed in a cross from Hilton Ngwa. The Vaqueros scored despite being down a man with Liren Halle on the sideline receiving medical attention after a cut above his eye drew blood.
Despite seeing his team take the lead, Vaqueros head coach Mark Snell was nervous about their start.
“My initial thoughts were that our mentality really wasn’t right at the beginning. Coaches can sense stuff like that,” Snell said. “I don’t know if they were overconfident or what, but it was not a good performance.”
Fort Worth (1-2-1, 4 points) could have taken a 2-0 lead into halftime, but a free kick by Ngwa in the 36th minute was denied at the right post by San Antonio goalkeeper Tristan Putnam.
After several halftime adjustments, San Antonio pulled the match level in the 59th minute when Juan Carlos Cacho scored from the left flank, knocking in a cross by Juan Flores from the opposite side. However, there was some controversy on the goal as it appeared a linesman had signaled Cacho was offside.
But after a consultation among the officials, the goal was deemed valid and the match was tied.
Down 1-0 at halftime, San Antonio sent seemingly endless pressure at the Vaquero defense in the second half and eventually wore them down. Prior to Cacho’s equalizer, Yuri Ribeiro nearly pulled the game level in the 51st minute, but Ribeiro’s shot from distance which he tried to bend inside the far post was knocked away by Vaqueros goalkeeper Zach Downes to force a corner.
The visitors scored the eventual game-winner in the 90th minute when a shot by Juan Saveedra struck Juan Flores in the middle of the Fort Worth area. Flores promptly kicked it in to make it 2-1.
And after one minute of added time, San Antonio had its first win of 2016.
“We understand how the Vaqueros play and we made adjustments for that,” Valtorna said. “We changed some positions. It worked.”
San Antonio will remain in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex before facing Liverpool Warriors on Sunday. Fort Worth will host Shreveport in the second leg of the Texas Trail Classic on Tuesday.