Despite a slow start, the North American Soccer League’s (NASL) San Antonio Scorpions managed to defeat the upset-minded North Texas Rayados of the United States Amateur Soccer Association (USASA) by a final score of 4-2 in a Third Round US Open Cup match.
San Antonio fell behind early as NTX Rayados scored twice in the first 20 minutes to take the lead, which they ultimately carried to halftime. First it was Rayados captain Ryan Spence who pounced on a loose ball off a scramble in the box following a corner kick by Jaime Lovegrove in the 11th minute.
Then in the 20th minute, substitute Alberto Rodriguez, who had replaced the injured Salas just minutes before, was on the receiving end of a punt from goalkeeper Eduardo Cortez and managed to chip Scorpions goalkeeper Jeremy Vuolo.
Desperate for a goal, head coach Alen Marcina brought on his top striker Walter Restrepo to start the second half and Restrepo repaid him in kind with a diving header in the 49th minute courtesy of a Josue Soto cross.
Forward Sainey Touray scored the next two for San Antonio five minutes apart in the 64th and 69th minutes. His second goal came courtesy of another Josue Soto assist. Soto would cap off the evening’s affairs by converting a 76th minute penalty kick that had been drawn by Touray.
The win over NTX Rayados helped San Antonio erase some recent Open Cup demons. They were upset in their first match of the 2013 Open Cup by USL-PDL side FC Tucson. However, in 2012, the Scorpions managed to win their first two Open Cup matches in their inaugural season, including an upset win over MLS side Houston Dynamo.
The Scorpions will now travel to Frisco, Texas to take on FC Dallas in a fourth round Open Cup match on Tuesday, June 17 at 8pm CDT. San Antonio striker Eric Hassli is quite familiar with FC Dallas; he made 15 appearances for the MLS club in 2013.