Campos Brace Helps Scorpions Top Silverbacks 3-0
The Atlanta Silverbacks have struggled all season and currently sit at the bottom of the NASL table with a -13 goal differential. The Silverbacks are struggling to compete on a consistent basis and are finding it even more difficult earning points away from home. So they entered into Saturday night’s contest against the Scorpions at Heroes Stadium in San Antonio, Texas even more determined to turn this opportunity into a road win. But the match turned on Atlanta very quickly and began to resemble their last encounter in San Antonio.
At just under 15 minutes, Wes Knight pushed forward for the Scorpions on the right side and sent a cross toward the six yard box of Atlanta’s defense but it deflected out for a corner.
The resulting movement forward seemed to instigate the attack for San Antonio and brought the second-place team to life. For the next 5 minutes, San Antonio would dominate possession.
Pablo Campos was soon after released for a direct scoring opportunity but the ball traveled a little faster on the turf than he could keep up with.
In the 23rd minute Hans Denissen found himself at the end line on the right side of goal. He did just enough to cross the ball to the opposite side of the six yard box where it fell to Esteban Bayona. The forward expertly headed the ball in the opposite direction, beating Silverbacks goalkeeper Daniel Illyes for his opening goal and his third of the season for the Scorpions.
San Antonio would continue to press with yet another well-coordinated attack from Denissen moving across the field to find an open Jonathan Greenfield. Greenfield was in an optimal position to slot the ball behind an advancing Illyes but elected to pass. The resulting through ball was paced too fast and Bayona was unable to get on the receiving end.
Toward the end of the half Atlanta kept their spirits up and continued to fight bolstered by the play of Atlanta midfielders Borfur Carr and Danilo Turcios. Both players were desperately trying to get service into forward Matt Horth, hoping to get the Atlanta forward off the mark as he did so often in 2011 with eight league goals.
The Scorpions continued their onslaught in the second half advancing the ball on the left side with spirited wing play from Greenfield and Blake Wagner. In the 54th minute Atlanta was awarded a free kick at the top right side of the box. Danilo Turcios sent the ball just over the right corner trying to catch Scorpions keeper Daryl Sattler off his line.
The match was once again proving to be fruitless for Atlanta’s coach Alex Pineda Chacon and his go-to man Horth. Chacon was forced to bring on Atlanta’s leading scorer Reinaldo Navia, who started the match on the bench but came in for Raphael Cox just before the hour mark.
At the 63rd minute mark Pablo Campos received the ball from a quick counterattack near the middle of the park. He set a course straight for goal with only Atlanta defender Shane Moroney to beat. Campos swerved back and forth with typical Brazilian ease, moving past Moroney and then rifling a shot low and to the left beating Illyes, finishing a beautiful individual piece of work.
The second goal took a lot of steam out of Atlanta but to their credit maintained a free and open attack, pressing San Antonio with some great interchanges from end to end.
Toward the end of the game, Campos broke free again in the box and slammed home a well-placed corner from Walter Ramirez at the top of the six with almost no effort to score his eighth goal of the season.
The game finished 3-0 to send San Antonio top of the league with seven wins.
San Antonio faces FC Edmonton with a midweek feature for the July 4th holiday but the standings could change yet again when Puerto Rico take on FC Edmonton Sunday.
“All these games are difficult and it was great getting three points tonight,” said Scorpions head coach Tim Hankinson. “We’ll be fighting for three points on Wednesday and we’ve got Puerto Rico and Ft. Lauderdale coming up. It’s important to focus on the next three games as well.”