The San Antonio Scorpions had a rematch against the Austin Aztex in the third round of the US Open Cup and it was Austin who advanced after a 2-0 win at Toyota Field on Wednesday night. The Aztex move on to play Houston after winning the tense match, that didn’t seem to get going for the Scorpions until the hour mark.
The Scorpions controlled the early possession but they too often had this desire to just walk the ball in to the back of the net. That cost them opportunities against an Aztex side who was looking dangerous on the counter.
Austin had the first clear chance of the match, in the 10th minute when Guaraci Oliviera was afforded too much space outside the box. Oliviera shot but his effort was saved by Daryl Sattler who sent it out for a corner which came to naught.
The Scorpions best chance of the early going came thanks to a fee kick which allowed the shot from the edge of the area. But the effort was well saved by Devin Perales who held on to the ball and allowed Austin to play out.
That seemed to spur the Scorpions on and in the 20th minute a neat through ball gave Billy Forbes the opportunity that the Scorpions were looking for. Forbes was able to run on to the ball, forcing a hesitant Perales off his line but shot wide.
The Scorpions had one more good chance late in the half, from a free kick as the ball was floated in for Zourab Tsiskaridze but he headed his effort wide. A bad backpass gave Eric Hassli one more chance late in the half but he couldn’t get the shot away on target, ending the half scoreless.
Alen Marcina was clearly unhappy with the first half performance and he made two changes bringing on Stephen DeRoux and Rafael Castillo. Tsiskaridze and Pablo Cruz made way for the two players as the Scorpions looked to go more on the attack.
Austin started the second half well and thanks to back to back corners they had the lead in the 50th minute. The Scorpions looked to clear the ball but could only send it as far as Michael Ambrose who returned it with venom, past Sattler for the opener.
The Scorpions finally reacted on the hour mark and if not for Perales could well have levelled the scores. The ball was passed to an open Castillo who hit it powerfully from the edge of the area but Perales saved well.
Perales and Castillo were having a fascinating duel which continued in the 62nd minute as Stephen DeRoux set up the chance. Castillo again let it rip from the edge of the area but yet again Perales made the vital save.
Some fancy footwork from Omar Cummings on the edge of the area in the 73rd minute opened up the space for him to shoot. Unfortunately for the Scorpions his shot went over the bar and heaped the pressure on the hosts.
After the Scorpions had a shout for a penalty denied in the 76th minute, Austin went on the counter and they punished San Antonio for napping. The quick counter saw the ball end up with Julio Cuero who sent the ball back for Trevin Cesar who made no mistake, sealing the win.
The Scorpions fans were frustrated at the refereeing and it got worse in the 81st minute when they had the ball in the back of the net. Unfortunately the goal was disallowed as both Scorpions players were caught out by an offside trap.
That was the last real chance for the Scorpions who lost again in the third round heaping pressure on Marcina. After the match both Julius James and Stephen DeRoux were shown red cards for dissent, making a frustrating nice even worse.