The San Antonio Scorpions earned their first point of the NASL Fall Season, and their first under interim head coach, Alen Marcina, after battling it out to a scoreless draw with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Saturday.
Despite creating the better chances, the Scorpions couldn’t find a way past in-from Strikers keeper, Richard Sanchez. However, the Scorpions defense kept their first clean sheet since July 4against the Carolina RailHawks even after losing defender, Stephen DeRoux, in the 63rd minute to a straight red card.
The two teams entered the halftime break scoreless after a rather uneventful first 45 minutes at Lockhart stadium. The Strikers started brighter out of the gate, earning a corner kick in the first 10 seconds of the game. As the half continued, San Antonio would grab a foothold and begin to create the more dangerous chances of the half.
In the 12th minute, a Scorpions corner kick was cleared to Walter Ramirez who lashed a strike from 25 yards out, but his bullet was saved brilliantly by Sanchez. Ramirez scored a goal last week against Minnesota from a half-cleared corner kick, but the Honduran winger couldn’t turn the trick for the second consecutive match.
The Strikers struggled to create any real chances in the remainder of half, but they were able to come close from shots from distance a couple of times in the latter stages of the first period. In the 30th minute however, the Scorpions had the game’s best chance to score the opener. Hans Denissen was played in and his shot was saved well by Sanchez, before Saavedra tried to roll in the rebound, but his effort was cleared off the line by the Strikers defense.
The second half saw very few clear-cut chances created. Both teams showed intent to go for goal, but the match continued to be played from 18-yard box to 18-yard box with both teams missing that killer pass to play a teammate in towards the goal. The Strikers tested their luck from distance multiple times, but could not break through a very solid Scorpions defense on the night.
Fort Lauderdale seemed to improve their chances of winning after DeRoux was shown the straight red card for a heavy challenge on Walter Restrepo. The Strikers immediately pressed and caused some minor problems for the Scorpions back line in the next few minutes.
But surprisingly, for the last five minutes of the game, it was the Scorpions who were able to control possession and run down the clock with simple passes. San Antonio brought on Fabrice Noel in the 88th minute to try and spark one last offensive challenge, but despite their efforts, they could not find the back of the net.
The draw marks the first point for the Scorpions since Marcina took over in late August.
“Defensively we were very organized,” said Marcina. “I was very proud of my guys. The Strikers have a lethal attack. We felt like in the first half we shut them down. We just have to execute on our finishes. Their goalie had some huge saves.”
San Antonio travels to Atlanta to finish the tail end of their first back-to-back road trip of the season, next Saturday.
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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|