Austin Take Silverware From Texas State Cup Final
The first silverware of the Texas Premier Soccer League season was valiantly fought this past weekend, with Austin Real Cuauhtemoc (ARC) coming out the winners with a final score of 4-2 over the Galveston Pirates SC in the Texas State Cup Final at the Houston Dutch Lions Soccer Complex.
A hat-trick from goal machine Erwin Madrid was enough to grab the match for the State capital city side and a single for Olvin Fuentens made up the goals for ARC. Another goal scoring leader, Danny Perejo grabbed the first of the Pirate goals, Emmanuel Ebi with the second late into stoppage time at the end, but it wasn’t enough to stop Austin from ending as winners.
Austin entered this match clear favourites after the 4-0 victory over the Pirates just two short weeks ago but the Pirates dusted themselves off from that defeat and entered this match full of confidence that gold could be struck and victory taken.
Despite a hectic first half hour, the game remained scoreless until up popped Erwin Madrid at the 30 minute mark to open the scoring. The following 12 minutes added another couple of goals to give his side a 3-0 lead in what was a turbulent time for the Pirate ship as they looked to steady themselves from the broadside they had just endured. They appeared to have grabbed themselves a lifeline right on the stroke of halftime when Bryan Mann was brought down by the last man in the box, earning a penalty for the men in yellow, and a red for the men in red.
The spot kick was slotted home by Perejo giving hope that they could indeed drag a result from what had looked a lost cause just minutes earlier.
However, for all their dominance in the second period due to having an extra man for 45 minutes, the Pirates were thwarted at every turn by the resilient ARC defence.
As time looked to be running it course at the end of 90 minutes, Olvin Fuentens added a fourth for Austin which was adding salt to the open wound of defeat for the Pirates but they struck back with and Emmanuel Ebi goal in the 93rd minute of play, but by this time there was little they could do but watch as the official pressed the whistle to his mouth and blew for full time.
Austin celebrated as champions as well they should. It was a hard fought match but in the end, Austin probably deserved the victory and the big golden cup that went along with it.
Last season’s champions, Houston Dutch Lions, chief executive Dennis Kroeze was on hand to pass the trophy along, which now proudly reads, ARC – Texas State Cup Winners 2014/15.
“We played out our skin today,” said ARC spokesman Gerardo Romero, “It was tight in the first 30 minutes but the three quick fire goals from Erwin killed the game for the Pirates and despite losing a man and a goal just before the half, I think we looked comfortable in the second half. Credit to the Pirates, they were probing for the goals in the second period and we had to defend for long spells. they have some really good players and if they continue to play together, they will be a real force to be reckoned with next season.”
“It is great to win the first trophy and now we will move to try and secure the league trophy as well. League and cup double would certainly be a great year!” he added.
Pirate coach Douglas Mann said,”The 12 minute spell where they scored three goals killed us, it really took the wind out of our sails. We were playing ok up to that point and didn’t look in trouble at all but when the first one went in we seemed to take a step back and allow them to come at us and they scored a pair before the break. It was unfortunate as the game was really open but we went at them in second half but just couldn’t add to the penalty goal we scored just before the break.”
“I am really proud of their attitude though as it could have went horribly wrong after the 3 goals but they knuckled down and threw everything they had at Austin in the second period but we couldn’t make our man advantage count and time just got away from us in the end. Congratulations to ARC on winning the cup and they will be hard to beat come the league playoffs in a few weeks.”
The Texas Premier Soccer League (TPSL) is a professionally run men’s adult soccer program involving amateur and semi-pro clubs from across the state. The league runs from September to March. The US Club Soccer sanctioned Texas State Cup also plays in the winter break from the league. An opportunity to qualify for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is available for the championship winner through this sanctioning with US Club Soccer.