The incredible run of the San Antonio Scorpions continued Saturday as they got four much needed goals n a 4-1 win against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers to make it four straight wins and stay alive in the Soccerbowl hosting race.
Needing a win and Carolina to not win the Scorpions got the results they needed and managed to cut down the goal difference gap with Carolina’s 1-1 draw with Atlanta keeping the season alive for all three teams.
Despite being out of contention Fort Lauderdale started well wanting to eliminate the Scorpions and they took the lead just 11 minutes in, getting a reward for their dominance of the opening stages.
A poor Pat Phelan back-pass to Jeremy Vuolo allowed Darnell King to pounce and steal possession and be left with a simple finish to open the scoring.
That left Scorpions fans worried, despite their incredible run of form the Scorpions are yet to win a match coming from behind all season and needed a win in this encounter to stay alive.
The Scorpions were also well aware of the necessity of winning and started pushing forward in search of an equalizer.
It took until the 35th minute but the Scorpions found the goal and again Hans Denissen was crucial as his great run allowed him to cross back for the much maligned Eriq Zavaleta to be left with a simple tap-in to put the Scorpions on level terms.
With little time left in the half Shavar Thomas put in a strange challenge on Zavaleta bringing him down in a headlock/choke hold that should have seen him earn a straight red but he got away with a yellow.
Thomas didn’t learn his lesson and with one minute left in the half put his team in all sorts of trouble as he brought down Zavaleta again, this time earning a straight red card for deliberately obstructing a goal scoring opportunity.
Scorpions Coach Tim Hankinson wasn’t happy with his side at the break commenting that they weren’t energetic and needed to play better, echoing comments made earlier in the season that the Scorpions weren’t cut-throat enough and didn’t go on after taking the lead or going up a man.
Hankinson clearly let his boys have it at half-time as they came out a much better side in the second half, looking to capitalize on the man advantage they had chance after chance in the opening stages but just couldn’t find that final product.
The goal came through the on-fire Hans Denissen as he received a cross from Stephen DeRoux which allowed him to slam home his fourth goal in three matches.
The much maligned Zavaleta was crucial in the Scorpions getting their third goal as he sent in a ball for Kevin Harmse who shot powerfully from outside the area to make it 3-1 for the Scorpions.
With a man advantage and two-goals to the good Hankinson saw the opportunity to bring in his Haitian import, Fabrice Noel, for his debut and he was to prove a vital part of the result.
Late on Noel and fellow substitute Bryan Jordan linked up beautifully with a fantastic interchange of passes which left the Strikers standing and Jordan with the goal.
The 4-1 win closes the goal difference gap with Carolina to four goals, meaning that if the Scorpions can secure a three goal win on the fourth AND Atlanta lose the Scorpions will be champions of the Spring Season, this equation has not factored in Minnesota’s result on the 30th which is yet to be played.
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