SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio FC advanced to the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a win in penalty kicks over Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC at Toyota Field on Wednesday night.

Just like their match on Saturday, SAFC got the scoring started early on in the match. Ethan Bryant was pulled down inside the box, setting up a penalty situation for the home side. Midfielder Rafa Castillo stepped up and drilled home the penalty kick, putting San Antonio up 1-0 in the eighth minute.

Once again, San Antonio would sit back and go defense after Castillo’s goal. Despite SAFC getting the majority of the chances in the first half, Colorado would tie things up off a set piece in the 26th minute with a header from Tobenna Ozo. Despite a late scoring chance from the home side, the game would remain level going into the second half.

“We had a lot of good chances and a lot of guys who haven’t gotten a lot of minutes played incredibly, so it was super positive,” SAFC defender Stephen McCarthy said. “One mistake, but that happens and we just have to correct that; besides that, it was a positive day for everybody.”

Colorado came out the locker room aggressive to start the second half. A shot from Shane Malcolm was denied by SAFC goalkeeper Matt Cardone in the 49th minute. Neither team really had many scoring chances in the second half but made the most of what they had. Chris Christian had a header attempt go over the bar in the 81st minute off an SAFC free kick.

Neither club could find the go-ahead goal, so the match would head to 30 more minutes of extra time. SAFC had two key scoring chances in the first 15 minutes of extra time but their attempts would go just wide. The second 15 minutes saw tempers flare between the two clubs but no goals.

The match would head into penalty kicks where San Antonio converted on all five of their penalty kicks and Colorado went three-of-four in the skills competition.

“When it gets to the point of penalties, you never know what could happen, but we just told the guys to be confident when they got up there and they certainly did that,” SAFC Head Coach Darren Powell said. “We hit a good series of penalties tonight and that allowed us to advance in the competition.”

San Antonio FC will learn their fourth-round opponent on Thursday morning when the drawing for the next round takes place.

The victory marks the first time that San Antonio FC has won in penalty kicks in club history. They were 0-3 coming into the match and had lost twice last year in the shootout. And the feeling was like a weight lifted off the shoulders of the club.

“It’s a great feeling,” McCarthy said. “It’s great.”


San Antonio FC is currently 3-2-5 (14 points) on the season and will return to USL play on Saturday night when they face Reno 1868 FC (3-3-5, 14 points) at 9:30 p.m. CT.

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Stephen Michael 26, is a journalist, social media coordinator, host, and entertainment reporter. Michael graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts and earned a Master's Degree in Digital Media in 2020 from the University of the Incarnate Word. He has worked covering the San Antonio Rampage, Stars, and San Antonio Futbol Club. He was the host of the Project Spurs Roundtable on NBC affiliate News 4 San Antonio from 2015-17.


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