San Antonio Scorpions won their second-consecutive home after a 2-0 victory over Minnesota United FC at Toyota Field on Saturday evening.
The goals came in the first and 90th minute, respectively, in what was also a sort of homecoming for former Scorpion Pablo Campos.
“It was an inspired performance from start to finish,” said Scorpions’ Head Coach Tim Hankinson. “We took a lot pressure in the second half but it is great how players just stepped up made key plays, good tackles and block shots. It was great for our guys to rise to the occasion and get that 2-0 win, as we needed it.”
In the first minute of play, Blake Wagner scored for the Scorpions off of a rebound by a shot from Hans Denissen that was created off of a United defensive miscue. Possession was pretty even after this goal, and then in the 20th minute Campos accidentally kicked Scorpions’ goalie Pat Hannigan’s rib after they collided during an offsides break-away. Hannigan had to come out of the game and was replaced by Jeremy Vuolo.
Both teams created many chances to score in the first half, but the Scorpions were more proactive, taking every opportunity to counter-attack and get in front of United’s back line.
Despite San Antonio’s proactivity, Minnesota had a great chance to tie the game when Geison Moura worked his way past the Scorpions’ defense, but his shot went high and wide.
The Scorpions then had a chance to open up their lead even more in the 44th minute when Bryan Jordan made a perfect cross into Esteban Bayona, but Bayona’s header went straight into the goalie’s hands.
San Antonio was even more aggressive in the second half, creating many break-away opportunities, some resulting in shots, and some resulting in offsides. In the 57th minute, Javier Saavedra made a perfect cross to Esteban Bayona after great passing by Bryan Jordan and Jeff Jennings. Bayona then headed the ball towards the net, but United’s goalie, Matt Van Oekel, made a tremendous save.
Minnesota had a golden opportunity to score soon after this in the 60th minute when Campos beat an offsides trap and was one-on-one with Vuolo. Vuolo then made a game-changing save after coming off his line to deny Campos.
In the 70th minute, the Scorpions thought they had a second goal when Jennings made a precise cross right to Bayona, who then headed it in the net. Bayona was called offside though, and the goal was taken off the board.
The Scorpions would get their second goal eventually, after Walter Ramirez, who subbed for Denissen in the 76th minute, dribbled through the box and fired a low, left-footed shot across the goal and past the goalie for the 2-0 lead and the eventual victory.
“I felt we played well this game,” United’s Head Coach Manny Lagos said. “However, we couldn’t come back from that opening goal. We took a big hit early and we couldn’t fire back and that is the game some days. “We made some team mistakes early that hurt us and we had several chances to score but we didn’t, so at this point in the season we have to be better in order to battle for first-place.”
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