Strikers end the Spring Season with a 2-2 Tie in San Antonio
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers (4W-1T-4L, 13 pts) played the final 55 minutes of the match a man up, but the San Antonio Scorpions (5-2-2, 17pts) never stopped pressing, taking the lead on the Strikers despite playing with only 10 men. The Strikers added a goal in the 90th minute to equalize the game and finish the Spring Season on a 2-2 draw at Toyota Field in San Antonio.
The Strikers traveled to San Antonio without their starting goalkeeper Oka Nikolov, who was injured earlier this week, and instead Lionel Brown started just his second NASL match between the posts. Brown played a solid match on goal, making several great saves to keep the game close.
The Strikers opened the scoring early when Shawn Chin grabbed a rebound off a Mark Ebbers shot in the 10th minute and buried it in the back of the net, giving the visiting team a 1-0 early advantage.
The Scorpions were able to equalize the match in the 24th minute when Sainey Tourayn received a ball from Eric Hassli and was able to beat Brown.
The Scorpions had to play the final 55 minutes a man down after Hassli tackled Strikers defender Darnell King from behind and was shown the straight red.
Despite playing with 10 men, the Scorpions continued to press early in the second half, eventually taking the 2-1 lead in the 58th minute. Scorpions Josue Soto, who came in at half time for Tourayn, was able to beat the Strikers defender and put the ball past Brown to take the one goal lead.
Just minutes earlier the Strikers had a scare when Chris Nurse got tangled up with Scorpions’ Greg Janicki and had to be carried out via a stretcher with a leg injury.
The Strikers continued to press and had several shot just miss the goal but the Scorpions held the lead late into the game. The Strikers made a couple of late offensive substitution to try to even up the score, bringing in the speedy Fafa Picault and forward Aly Alberto Hassan.
In the 90th minute, King made a cross inside the box, and Fafa Picault was able to head it towards the goal, and the ball just slipped past the diving keeper Jeremy Vuolo to tie the game. Picault then received a yellow card for taking off his shirt, and just minutes later, after a hard foul, Picault was sent off after receiving his second yellow and the teams were evened up at ten players a piece.
The teams played seven minutes of extra time, mostly due to Nurse’s injury, and both had several close shots, including a fantastic save by Brown off a Leo Cruz rocket, keeping the Scorpions from scoring the game winner.
The Strikers kick off the Fall season on Saturday, July 12 at Lockhart Stadium against Minnesota United FC. Fall Season Tickets are available starting at $90 at www.strikers.com or by calling 954-606-0400
Match : Fort Lauderdale Strikers (FTL) at San Antonio Scorpions (SAS)
Competition : North American Soccer League 2014 Spring Season- Matchday 9
Venue : Toyota Field; San Antonio, TX
Kickoff : 8:30 p.m. EDT
Weather : 94 °F
FTL - Shawn Chin (unassisted) 10'
SAS - Sainey Touray (Eric Hassli) 24'
SAS - Soto 58'
FTL - Picault (King) 90'
Fort Lauderdale Strikers (4-2-3-1) – Lionel Brown; Darnell King, Rafael Alves, Stefan Antonijevic, Iván Guerrero (C); Chris Nurse (Manny Gonzalez 56'), Pecka; Shawn Chin; Mark Anderson, Martin Nuñez (Fafà Picault 68'); Marius Ebbers (Aly Alberto Hassan 76')
Available substitutes: Colin Murphy, Ronaldo Vieira
San Antonio Scorpions – Jeremy Vuolo; Jonathan Borrajo, Greg Janicki, Adrian Cann ©, Stephen DeRoux, Danny Barrera (Freddie Braun 61'), Julius James, Walter Restrepo, Sainey Touray (Josue Soto, 45'), Eric Hassli, Billy Forbes (Leone Cruz 87'),
Available substitutes: Julio Garcia, Troy Hernandez,
FTL - Antonijevic 26’ (caution)
SAS - Hassli 36' (ejection)
FTL - Picault 90' (caution)
FTL - Picault 90'+ (ejection - second yellow)