Three second-half goals by San Antonio Scorpions led to a 4-1 win over host Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Saturday evening at Lockhart Stadium.
The second-year franchise Scorpions kept its NASL Spring Season title hopes alive thanks to the victory as the result from the other encounter tonight that had the Carolina RailHawks playing to a 1-1 draw against the visiting Atlanta Silverbacks.
The Strikers were able to capitalize in the 11th minute when Scorpions' defender Pat Phelan's pass was intercepted by defender Darnell King, who drove in on goal and fired a shot past goalkeeper Jeremy Vuolo to take the 1-0 lead.
The Strikers held the lead until the 35th minute when a ball played into the penalty area was saved from going out of bounds by forward Hans Denissen. The ball crossed in front of the Strikers' goal and forward Eriq Zavaleta beat the defenders to the ball and poked his shot past goalkeeper Lionel Brown to level the match at 1-1.
Just before halftime, Zavaleta made a great run towards goal, beating two Strikers defenders on his way before defender Shavar Thomas brought him down at the edge of the area and he was sent off by the referee. Despite a good amount of stoppage time, the teams entered the half with the score tied at one.
“We were pretty good to start the game and we scored good goal, but as the game went on we go a bit careless with the ball which led to their goal,” said Strikers coach Daryl Shore.
Scorpions coach Tim Hankinson said at halftime. "We're not showing the energy we should. It's a vital game and we look sluggish at the moment. We have to rip into our guys at halftime, so we come out with better energy and strength."
After the start of the second half, the Scorpions took advantage of playing a man up it paid off when defender Stephen DeRoux's cross fell to Denissen who buried his third goal in as many games and sixth overall this season to give San Antonio the lead 2-1 in the 56th minute.
The Scorpions doubled their advantage (3-1) in the 67th minute when midfielder Kevin Harmse buried a strike from outside the box thanks to a good pass from Zavaleta.
San Antonio closed out the scoring in the final minute when midfielder Bryan Jordan scored from a give-and-go by from midfielder Fabrice Noel.
With the victory, the Scorpions can still claim the Spring Season Championship, but it will need to win at Toyota Field against Carolina by a large margin on July 4th.
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