In their second home game of the 2012 season, the San Antonio Scorpions FC tied 2-2 the Fort Lauderdale Strikers Saturday night at Heroes Stadium. The pair of goals for the Scorpions came from Pablo Campos and Hans Dennison to open San Antonio’s account for the season.
In front of a good crowd of 10,114, the home side looked to address the poor showing from a 4-0 home opening loss to the Puerto Rico Islanders the week before.
Coach Hankinson made some changes to the line up and incorporated their newest signing, former FC Dallas defender Aaron Pitchkolan, into the back four to play alongside Ryan Cochrane. San Antonio native Matt Gold got his first start of the season in the right back position, which saw Wes Knight move forward in a more advanced position in the right midfield.
Pablo Campos and Hans Denissen both started up front and the midfield was rounded out by Kevin Harmse, Jonathan Greenfield and Walter Ramirez.
“I selected a lineup that was more physical than our lineup on Sunday, and Wes had played on the wing and he’s got great pace, I thought bringing speed on the right side might not allow them to focus so much on Walter Ramirez on the left,” said head coach Tim Hankinson.
The Strikers had a shot on goal in the beginning of the match but the possession quickly went to the Scorpions as they pressed the Strikers back line for a greater part of the opening minutes and yielded some great opportunities in front of goal.
While the Scorpions enjoyed most of the possession early on, they were punished for not putting in their chances. The visiting side took control of the score line with a beautiful goal from Andy Herron (32’) after he found himself alone on the right hand side. Herron powered the ball into the opposite corner.
San Antonio drew even nine minutes later with a goal from Pablo Campos (41’) who finished a flicked header from Hans Denissen that tested Strikers ‘keeper Matt Glaeser. The Strikers goalkeeper fumbled the direct shot and Campos finished, scoring the first goal in franchise history.
“It felt good, because we were waiting for the first one and we were anxious and I want to score more goals to help the team,” said Campos.
Building on the momentum from the first half, the Scorpions started the second half with good possession and looked like a team that had every intention of grabbing their second goal. But the Strikers broke through the center of the park with some tight and direct passing which moved the ball through the eighteen-yard box where Andy Herron (50’) scored his second of the night.
Down a goal, Hankinson elected to make a few changes bringing on Esteban Bayona up top and pushing Denissen to the right with Wes Knight moving to right back. This change was largely responsible for the second goal from the Scorpions as Bayona immediately brought fresh legs and consistently found himself in threatening positions.
Then, in stoppage time, Bayona broke free on the right hand side and slotted the ball across the six yard box to an oncoming Denissen who finished with authority, capitalizing on some spirited play toward the end of the game.
The last several minutes of the game saw referee Matt Foerster hand out 4 red cards as tempers flared in this competitive match. Wes Knight and Luiz Tiago were sent to the showers and will miss the Scorpions’ next game. The Strikers’ Toni Stahl and Abe Thompson were also ejected and will miss this Wednesday evening’s matchup against the first place Islanders.
“We can be happy for now. It’s always tough to not have any goals on the score sheet and we have two now. We will take this week to prepare for a stronger performance in Carolina,” said Denissen.
The Scorpions travel to North Carolina next Saturday, April 28th to take on the Carolina RailHawks at 6:00 p.m. CT.
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers have a short turnaround as they will host the visiting Islanders on Wednesday, April 25th at Lockhart Stadium with kickoff at 6:30 p.m. CT.
FTL: Herron (2) (Restrepo) 32′
SAS: Campos (1) (Denissen) 41′
FTL: Herron (3) (Restrepo) 51′
SAS: Denissen (1) (Campos) 90′
Strikers: Glaeser; Blake (Anderson 85′), Stewart, Stahl (c), Pecka; Shanosky, Lorenz, Restrepo; Morales, Hassan (Orozco 71′), Herron (Thompson 80′)
Scorpions: Hannigan (Sattler 85′); Cochrane, Pitchkolan, Wagner, Gold (Bayona 57′); Knight, Ramirez, Greenfield (Soto 65′), Harmse (c); Denissen, Campos
FTL: Shanosky 10′, Morales 53′, Stahl 90′
SAS: Pitchkolan 16′, Harmse 22′
SAS: Knight 90′, Tiago 90′ FTL: Stahl 90′, Thompson 90′