Stars FC Lose Cruel Game to NASL Leading ScorpionsAugust 11, 2012 - North American Soccer League (NASL) Minnesota United FC
It was a promising first half for the Stars. Neil Hlavaty drove a free kick to the near post that forced a save from Daryl Sattler in the third minute. A minute later, Hlavaty delivered another promising ball to the back post, which Kyle Altman headed back across goal for Brian Kallman to flick over the bar. In the 18th minute, Miguel Ibarra dribbled past several Scorpions defenders before driving a left-footed shot over Sattler's bar. From another dangerous free kick in the 25th minute, Simone Bracalello curled an effort wide from 25 yards. Ibarra tested his luck again in the 39th minute, beating San Antonio's offside trap before blazing a shot wide of Sattler's far post. Sattler was the hero for the Scorpions in the 42nd minute, gathering a feed from Bracalello on a fast counter attack and cutting back onto his left foot, but Sattler came off his line well to close down Ibarra's angle.
San Antonio's best opportunity came from a set piece in the 45th minute, after Hlavaty was called for a foul about 25 yards from goal, but Stars goalkeeper Matt VanOekel's wall was up to the task and blocked NASL scoring later Pablo Campos' driven attempt.
The Stars thought they grabbed the lead in the 48th minute. Martin Nunez, who had been quiet in the first half, beat Sattler to a through ball and played a ball back across goal for Justin Davis to tap in, but after consultation with the assistant referee, the goal was waved off for offside. The linesman denied the Stars again in the 55th minute as Nunez rose to head home Cristiano Dias' cross.
Having held San Antonio at bay for 70 minutes, the Stars learned how cruel the sport can be. A poor clearance from VanOekel set Campos to run in at goal, and he was fouled as Kyle Altman and Dias sandwiched him attempting to block his shot. Hans Denissen stepped up to send VanOekel the wrong way to open the scoring with a well-taken penalty.
Kevin Venegas replaced Lucas Rodriguez, Amani Walker came on for Bracalello and Devin Del Do replaced Davis as the Stars looked to match the energy of the supporters' section and 3,221 other fans inside NSC Stadium and find an equalizing goal. Hlavaty had a penalty shout denied in stoppage time, and San Antonio melted the remaining time away for their 11th victory of the season.
"I think we're playing really solid soccer right now, except for the finishing and putting teams away. It's frustrating that the team didn't get the result, but in the end, we've got to get through it, get better," Stars head coach Manny Lagos said.
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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