Corinthians FC SA played their first ever U.S. Open Cup match on Wednesday night but unfortunately their cup run came to an end as they fell 3-1 to San Antonio FC at Toyota Field.
Despite taking on amateur opponents, San Antonio FC played a number of first team players, including starting goalkeeper and captain, Josh Ford. Corinthians FC SA went for an attacking shape, with a 3-5-2 in an attempt to control midfield.
Poor defending gave San Antonio FC the lead in just the third minute as Corinthians FC SA allowed Jacques Francois to square for Jason Johnson. Callum Chapman-Page couldn’t quite clear the ball, which allowed Johnson a simple finish to open the scoring.
A shot from distance by Juan Carlos Cacho in the 15th minute gave Corinthians FC SA their best chance of the match so far. Cacho’s effort deflected off a defender and sailed just wide of the San Antonio FC goal before the corner was cleared.
That led to a good passage for Corinthians FC SA, who went on the attack, trying to break down the San Antonio FC defense. Sean Arters had the next clear chance in the 20th minute when he nutmegged Bobby Moseley, but he pulled his shot wide.
A chip from Johnson after Tristen Putnam’s punch only got as far as the Jamaican striker nearly doubled the San Antonio FC lead. But his chip went just over the bar, allowing Putnam to breathe easier.
Some great defending from San Antonio kept it level as Chapman-Page got stuck in, with a dangerous cross coming he blocked it out for a corner. The corner saw more of the same as the shot came in and was blocked, setting up another corner which eventually went out for a goal kick.
San Antonio FC were creating plenty of chances in the final 20 minutes of the half, but a mixture of good defending and poor finishing kept it down to one. The next chance fell to Corinthians FC SA as Edson Villalon found space and shot just wide of goal.
Trailing a goal and with a legend of Mexico on the bench, Corinthians FC SA brought on Miguel Sabah, perhaps earlier than they liked. That saw more attack down the right as Corinthians FC SA looked to bring Sabah in to the play.
Sabah made his impact felt early, running at goal in the 38th minute, he looked up and saw Josh Ford off his line. He went to send the ball over the keeper but Ford got back and tipped the ball over the bar for a corner which was well cleared, keeping it 1-0 at half-time.
Corinthians FC SA got the second half off to a perfect start as some pinball in the box left the ball free at close range. That allowed Callum Chapman-Page to tap it home, under the keeper to draw Corinthians FC SA back on level terms.
Following the goal, San Antonio FC really tried to get back the lead and avoid extra-time and penalties. That saw plenty of attack from the professional side but the Corinthians FC SA defense was standing firm, restricting chances to outside the box.
Two good chances came quickly to San Antonio FC, both to Carlos Alvarez in the 67th and 68th minutes. The first was a long free-kick which Tristen Putnam was forced to punch out for a corner, which allowed Alvarez another chance, which he sent wide.
A rocket of a strike from Jacques Francois restored San Antonio FC’s lead after a rapid counter caught out the Corinthians FC SA defense. Francois was allowed to run at the defense and shot the ball powerfully from the edge of the area, leaving Putnam no chance.
The match was effectively over in the 74th minute when Milton Palacios was able to get possession in the right hand corner. That allowed the defender to square the ball for Francois, who was left with a simple tap-in to make it 3-1 and seal the win.