Minnesota Stars Tie Again, are Now on 8 Match Winless Streak
Déjà vu. That’s what spectators of the Minnesota Stars game may have been thinking after Saturday night’s 1-1 tie with NASL league leading San Antonio Scorpions. Just like last week’s match against Edmonton, the Stars had a strong first half, going ahead of their opponent 1-0. And just like last week, Minnesota’s competition had a much better second half and scored on the Stars for the draw meaning the home team walked away with only one point.
The Stars kicked off the scoring in the 33rd minute with the usual suspect leading the attack. Miguel Ibarra charged up the center of the field, dishing off a little toe poke to Martin Nunez. The forward held off his defender long enough to dish the ball out wide to Brian Kallman who almost immediately played a diagonal touch pass back into the center for Ibarra who had made a run after passing to Nunez. Ibarra in turn played another forward diagonal cross to the far post where Amani Walker slid for the ball and knocked it into the net at the far post.
The half ended with the Stars up 1-0 and outshooting San Antonio 11-5 and forcing 5 saves by Daryl Sattler. But the Scorpions came out with more authority in the second half and pressed Minnesota higher causing more disruption to the Minnesota midfield which helped San Antonio’s possession.
In the 69th minute of action San Antonio moved down the left side of the field. The ball was played towards the top of the box. NASL scoring leader Pablo Campos latched onto the ball then held off several defenders as he dribbled square. The Scorpions forward played the ball to the right of the box where Hans Denissen received, then cut it back into the middle. He dribbled square but in the same direction where the pass came from. Denissen picked his moment and squeezed a quick shot off between two Stars defenders from the top of the box and just off the right post. He curled the ball through traffic and slotted it between a diving Matt VanOekel and the left post. The goal was an outstanding piece of work by Denissen and knotted the score at one apiece which is how the match ended.
The result was the 8th straight game that the Stars have not been able to muster a victory. In fact the Stars have not given their home fans much to cheer about this season. Minnesota has the 6th worst home record in the league with a 5-4-3 record and an average of 1.3 goals per home game. They are giving up 1 goal per home match to their opponents and have only accumulated 18 out of a possible 36 points while playing at home in 2012.
Conversely, the Stars have the third best away record at 2-4-6 and are averaging a goal a game and conceding 1.4 goals per away match.
The draw gives the Stars an eight-point advantage over FC Edmonton for the league’s sixth and final playoff position.The Stars face Edmonton next Saturday night in Blaine.
Stars central defender Kyle Altman chosen as the Brit’s Pub/IMSoccer News – Minnesota Stars FC Man of the Match
Kyle Altman, who was named the Brits Pub/IMS Soccer News – Man of the Match, said after the game that he would sacrifice his Man of the Match performance for a victory.
“It’s an honor but obviously I’d rather trade it for the three points,” said Altman. “To have the lead going into the second half and not get the three points is disappointing. I thought we fought hard and I thought maybe we deserved it. But at this level if you don’t close out the game… you can’t concede a goal in the second half like that.”
Altman said his defensive team was to be credited for holding the number one offense in the league to only one goal.
“They have the top goal scorer in the league in Pablo Campos so the big thing is to make sure to keep track of their players when they’re making runs through. I thought it was a good partnership tonight between Brian (Kallman), myself, Cristiano (Dias) and JD (Justin Davis) and without Matty (VanOekel) making a big save at the end it could have been a loss. I thought collectively we were very good.”
Altman will receive a $50.00 gift certificate from Brit’s Pub and Eating Establishment for being chosen the Brit’s Pub/IMSoccer News – Minnesota Stars FC Man of the Match