The San Antonio Scorpions have their first point of the season as a late penalty saw them salvage a 2-2 draw with Minnesota United. It was a typical tough and tight match between the two sides, who have seen their fortunes reversed at the early stages of 2015 sitting on the bottom of the table.
The Scorpions wasted no time in getting things started and hit the lead just nine minutes in to the match through a stunner. Zourab Tsiskaridze looked up and spotted the keeper off his line allowing him to shoot, from his own half, over the keeper to give San Antonio the lead.
That seemed to rattle the Minnesota United defence, who have looked shaky for much of the season. They were routinely guilty of leaving Scorpions players open but the Scorpions were unable to punish the Minnesota defence for those errors.
After 25 minutes Minnesota were really coming much more in to the match but their tactic of just hoofing the ball forward was just not working. San Antonio were helping out Minnesota with their physical play often resulting in free-kicks in range but the Loons could not capitalize.
The equalizer did come in the 35th minute as some neat work down the left created the opportunity. Some slick ball movement caught out Saad Abdul-Salaam which allowed Miguel Ibarra to cross the ball in for former Scorpion Pablo Campos who shrugged off his man and easily buried the chance.
After the goal the half evened out, both sides wanted to try and find a goal that would give them the lead at the break. But neither side managed it as the half ended 1-1, a fair reflection of the match to that point.
Minnesota started the second half well and in the 54th minute they were left furious when Miguel Ibarra went down under pressure from Stephen DeRoux. The referee disagreed but he did see the retaliation which earned Ibarra a booking.
They did not have to wait long as Johnny Steele was brought down by DeRoux just four minutes later which saw the referee point to the spot. The penalty was duly dispatched by Christian Ramirez and Minnesota had their lead.
The Scorpions were determined to respond and they looked to build up, but those early nerves from Minnesota’s defense were gone as they looked to hold on. That was until a mistake from Sammy Ndjock as he collected Richard Menjivar on an attempted punch clearance, which gave the Scorpions a penalty, allowing Rafael Castillo to step up and score the late equalizer.
San Antonio Soccer News Player of the Year Votes:
3 – Zourab Tsiskaridze
2 – Cesar Elizondo
1 – Rafael Castillo (Total: 3)