(NOTE: In the interest of full disclosure, the writer works for Corinthians FC SA)
The first ever San Antonio derby took place on Wednesday afternoon when San Antonio FC continued their pre-season preparations against Corinthians FC of San Antonio. It was a hard fought match but SAFC claimed the victory 2-1 at Toyota Field.
SAFC struck first after a foul in the box allowed Jason Johnson to step up and take the penalty, he continued his good form, making no mistake with the effort. That forced Corinthians FC SA to respond and the immediately went on the attack.
In the 17th minute they had their goal back after some fluid play allowed Corinthians to move the ball in to the box. That saw the ball fall to Juan Carlos Cacho who made no mistake levelling the scores easily at one.
Only a great save from Tepa kept it level at one in the death of the half as Sebastien Thuriere found space on the edge of the area. That allowed him to shoot but it was well kept out by Tepa at full stretch, letting Corinthians FC SA off the hook, keeping it 1-1 at the break.
The two teams really trading periods of domination, but it was SAFC who had the stronger opportunities at goal in the match. Despite that the Corinthians FC SA defense was strong and they were looking dangerous on the counter.
The changes came on the hour mark with a practical line change coming from SAFC while the Corinthians bench saw some, all be it less, movement. That gave SAFC an advantage, as their larger and professional bench started to give them more of the ball.
In the 61st minute SAFC had a golden opportunity when Ferijo Okiomah was left wide open for a free header. But again Tepa was able to prove his worth to Corinthians, making a superb save to keep his side level.
A stray pass gave SAFC a good opportunity three minutes later as Rafael Castillo gathered it in. That allowed him to set up Okiomah who took a powerful shot from the edge of the area but his effort went wide, keeping it 1-1.
As the match wore on, SAFC were proving to be the better side, with more players, deeper in to pre-season, and a professional side. Yet despite that they just could not break down a stern Corinthians defense.
SAFC finally broke through in the 81st minute a mix up at the back saw Tepa come out and lose the ball. That saw the ball fall to a trialist who was able to simply walk the ball in to the back of the net.
The game got especially feisty late in the match, when Manuel Vidrio was forced to watch the rest of the match from the stands. He walked half-way on to the pitch to protest the officials’ decision making and was deservedly sent off, ending the match with an odd atmosphere, and a 2-1 win for SAFC.