ATLANTA, GA (Sept 19, 2012) - The first-place San Antonio Scorpions were unable to overcome a two-goal halftime deficit, falling to the Atlanta Silverbacks in a 3-1 loss in their final road match of the regular season.
The Scorpions remain in first place in the NASL standings, maintaining a two-point advantage over the Tampa Bay Rowdies heading into the final match of the regular season. The Rowdies failed to win at home tonight against Carolina, tying 1-1. The tie means that San Antonio can win the NASL Regular Season title with a victory on Sunday versus Minnesota regardless of Tampa Bay's result on Saturday versus Carolina.
The Silverbacks took the early lead when a cross by midfielder Danny Barrera into the box found defender Willie Hunt, who knocked in a header past Scorpions goalkeeper Daryl Sattler to put Atlanta ahead 1-0.
Scorpions forward Pablo Campos nearly tied the match in the 6th minute, but his header after a perfectly-placed cross by Walter Ramirez went right off the crossbar.
In the 11th minute, Sattler made a diving stop on a shot by Pablo Mednes to keep the Scorpions down by just a goal.
Scorpions defender Wes Knight unleashed a shot in the 21st minute as the team continued to exchange scoring opportunities, but his shot was stopped by Silverbacks goalkeeper Daniel Illyes.
The Scorpions picked up another golden opportunity when forward Esteban Bayona was one-on-one with Illyes in the 25th minute, but his shot went wide of the net.
A free kick by Danny Barrera in the 39th minute went a Scorpions defender and into the net for an own goal, digging the Scorpions into a 2-0 hole late in the first half.
Midfielder Josue Soto struck a ball from 30 yards out into the back of the net in the 68th minute to cut into the Atlanta lead.
Trailing by one goal, the Scorpions began to put more pressure on the Silverbacks backline in search of the equalizer.
But the Silverbacks struck back in the 75th minute, with forward Pedro Mendes receiving a pass in the left side of the box and firing a shot past Sattler to put the Atlanta ahead 3-1.
Atlanta despite elimination last week from playoff consideration has lost just once in their last eight league games.
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|Tampa Bay Rowdies||14||5||5||4||3||20|
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|Tampa Bay Rowdies||12||5||3||4||5||18|
|Minnesota United FC||12||4||2||6||-5||14|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||12||2||2||8||-14||8|