The defending TSSAS State Cup champions Houston New Stars defeated the San Antonio-based Crocketteers Premier men’s soccer team, 2-0, Rich Moore reports.
The match began on a sour note. In the 3rd minute, Houston saw a player was given a stern warning by the referee after committing two harsh fouls. Two minutes later, his teammate went into the book for persistent infringement.
In the 12th minute, Houston’s left midfielder got around the Crocketteers’ right fullback and sliced a pass across the goal, only to see the home team’s center back calmly control the ball and pass it out of danger.
Houston continued to pour on the pressure and earned a corner kick after a quality shot from 25 yards out, which was tipped over the bar by the Crocketteers’ goalkeeper.
The defending champions hard work paid off with a goal in the 21st minute. They again attacked down their left side with a low cross into the goal area. Another Houston player found a small gap in the defense, ran onto the pass and finished the play with an easy tap in.
The New Stars continued their possession game, but the Crocketteers steered away the Houston scoring chances and waited for their opportunity to even the score. Their patience appeared to be rewarded in the 40th minute when a foul gave them a free kick 20 yards from goal. The ball was redirected toward the far post and looked to be a sure goal, but a Houston defender headed the ball off the line.
The second half started much like the first, with physical play from both sides. In the 51st minute, the Houston’s number 19 was shown a yellow card for a rough tackle. Two minutes later, the referee judged the same player had been fouled in the Crocketteers’ area and awarded Houston a penalty kick but the attempt was just wide of the right post, giving the Crocketteers a reprive.
The Crocketteers took control of the match and had several chances on goal, but were unlucky not to score an equalizer.
In the 1st minute of stoppage time, the referee gave Houston a yellow card for a cynical, time-wasting foul. With the Crocketteers still pushing for a goal, Houston scored their 2nd strike on a counter-attack. The ball was cleared out of the Houston area directly to their number 19 player, who was waiting for it just inside their half of midfield. With all the opposing defenders committed to the attack, he was off to the races and neatly scored under an onrushing Crocketteers’ goalkeeper.
The win allowed HNS to win the state cup again, seeing them well on track for a good US Open Cup loss, although the Crocketteers were not shamed as they didn’t look far off that level themselves, doing San Antonio proud.
For all the latest San Antonio Soccer news please subscribe and follow us on twitter.