San Antonio recorded a win for the first time this season to climb off the foot of the table. Javier Saavedra scored after only a minute and with 52 minutes played Luka Vucko was first to react to force home a loose ball and open a two-goal cushion.
Almost immediately, the Strikers were back in contention when Scott Gordon halves the deficit, but the hosts were not to be denied that maiden victory and Edin Husic made the game safe.
“We felt if we opened up the game we would have more chances on goal,” said Scorpions coach Tim Hankinson. “We’re starting to learn a little bit more about ourselves.”
The Scorpions struck quickly in the first minute when Esteban Bayona headed a cross toward goal which Strikers' goalkeeper Jeff Attinella blocked, but the rebound fell to Saavedra, who tucked it home for the lead.
"We had to play catch up and just weren’t good enough tonight," said Strikers head coach Daryl Shore. "They put us under pressure and we didn’t handle it well enough."
Following the early goal, play settled down between the two sides. The Strikers arguably produced the better chances, even though first-time starter in net for the Scorpions, Jeremy Vuolo, wasn't required to make any big saves. The best chances came from interplays between Fort Lauderdale's attacking group of Walter Restrepo, Mark Anderson and Jemal Johnson.
The second half saw a flurry of goals when both teams combined for three tallies in five minutes. San Antonio got the better of the exchanges and extended their lead to 3-1.
Vucko scored in the 53rd minute after deflecting a free kick from Saavedra then Fort Lauderdale's Gordon poked home a score during a scramble in front of the net following a corner kick.
The game's final score came when a deflected cross came low in front of the goal line and Gordon was unable to stop his momentum from hitting the ball into his own net with Husic claiming the final touch.
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|New York Cosmos||14||9||4||1||10||31|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||14||5||5||4||3||20|
|Minnesota United FC||14||6||2||6||2||20|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||14||5||3||6||-2||18|
|San Antonio Scorpions||14||3||1||10||-9||10|
|San Antonio Scorpions||12||6||2||4||4||20|
|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|