Scorpions Defeat Stars, Strengthen Grip of FirstAugust 11, 2012 - North American Soccer League (NASL) San Antonio Scorpions
Hans Denissen converted a second half penalty kick for his third goal of the season to help lift the Scorpions to an important victory over the Stars.
The Scorpions now have a four-point edge over the second-place Tampa Bay Rowdies as San Antonio remains at the top of the NASL table.
"They had the better of the chances, but sometimes the game comes down to one break," Scorpions Head Coach Tim Hankinson said. "We were able to maintain the lead and three points feels pretty good right now. Our possession picked up in the second half and we continued to stay in the fight."
The Scorpions struggled with possession for much of the first half, but the Scorpions defense and goalkeeper Daryl Sattler were able to help keep Minnesota at bay during the opening stanza.
Scorpions defender Blake Wagner made a nice run to the top of the box after beating Stars defenders, but his shot skidded away from the net to end the opportunity.
Stars forward Simone Bracalello took a free kick from just outside the box in the 25th minute, but his shot went wide of the far post to keep the game scoreless.
In the 40th minute, Stars midfielder Miguel Ibarra had a one-on-one chance against Sattler after receiving a pass in the right side of the box. He delivered a shot past a diving Sattler, but it went wide of the post.
The best opportunity of the half for the Stars came two minutes later of a counter attack. Minnesota had a three-on-two opportunity and Miguel Ibarra fired a shot on goal, but Sattler made a smothering stop to keep the match scoreless.
After heading into halftime scoreless, the Scorpions nearly fell behind early in the second half when defender Justin Davis tapped in a pass from forward Martin Nunez in the 48th minute, but the play was called offside by the referee.
The Stars had another goal waved off when Nunez was called offside in the 48th minute after heading a pass in the box from defender Christiano Dias.
The Scorpions began to find a rhythm in middle stages of the second half, and their efforts paid off when forward Pablo Campos was taken down in the box from behind in the 70th minute, which set up a penalty kick attempt for midfielder Hans Denissen.
Denissen calmly converted the penalty kick in the 71st minute past Stars keeper Matt Van Oekel to give the Scorpions a 1-0 lead.
The Scorpions fought off the Stars in the final 20 minutes of play, giving Sattler his 11th shutout of the season with a six-save performance.
The Scorpions return to action with a home duel against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Sunday, Aug. 19 at Heroes Stadium for "Back To School Night" presented by WOAI. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
North American Soccer League Stories from August 11, 2012
- Strikers Defeat RailHawks 1-0 at Lockhart Stadium - Fort Lauderdale Strikers
- Stars FC Lose Cruel Game to NASL Leading Scorpions - Minnesota United FC
- RailHawks Fall on the Road against Strikers - Carolina RailHawks
- Scorpions Defeat Stars, Strengthen Grip of First - San Antonio Scorpions
- Silverbacks Earn Draw against Red-Hot Rowdies - Atlanta Silverbacks
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