The San Antonio Scorpions returned to the top of the table as they defeated the Atlanta Silverbacks 3-0 in front of a capacity crowd at Heroes Stadium on Saturday night.
Coach Tim Hankinson was pleased with the result, “Getting three tonight and fighting for three on Wednesday is vital knowing we have Tampa Bay and Puerto Rico coming up… going back on top will make the world of difference.”
Estaban Bayona was pleased with the turn around after the game, “after last week we came out angry but it’s good to respond.”
The Atlanta Silverbacks started well and had a good chance in the third minute after a nice ball from Chris Klute but the ball was just too long, saving the Scorpions.
In the 14th minute the Scorpions had their first chance of the night, when Wes Knight controlled well on the right before squaring in to the box for Estaban Bayona but the angle was just too tight, as Bayona was blocked for a corner.
Jonathan Greenfield played the ball through again in the 16th minute but was unable to find any team mates as the goalkeeper, Daniel Illyes, came forward quickly to claim.
After a great start from Atlanta in the first fifteen minutes the Scorpions really lifted and started to take control.
In the 21st minute Greenfield almost put Pablo Campos through again, but Illyes was able to come out and clear well before berating his defense.
In the 24th minute the Scorpions opened the scoring as the Atlanta defense left Hans Denissen wide open, allowing him time and space to send in a pin point cross for an unmarked Bayona who easily headed home.
“For me, I try to draw defenders,” reflected Bayona, “and Pablo is the same, and he did that so I could score.”
Illyes continued to be the sole defender for Atlanta as he rescued his side in the 30th minute after Campos got through and Denissen was unable to put away the rebound from 30 yards.
In the 35th minute Greenfield was played clean through but decided to pass it over for Bayona but it went too far and crossed the byline.
In stoppage time the Scorpions thought they’d doubled their lead but they were denied after the referee correctly ruled that it was a Campos Handball, keeping it one-nil at half time.
Jonathan Greenfield had a good chance in the first minute after the break but Illyes came out well, and denied the opportunity quickly.
In the 55th minute Danilo Turcios nearly pulled one back from a set piece with his well struck effort going just over the bar.
The Scorpions countered quickly and Denissen and Campos linked up well before sending the ball to Greenfield who was unable to find Campos again as the ball was hit too long.
In the 58th minute the Scorpions could well have made it two after Denissen took in a perfect corner but a Silverbacks defender got on it sending it out for a corner that came to nothing.
Turcios continued to be the most dangerous player for Atlanta, as he played Matt Horth through but his shot was rushed as it curled out.
An incredible bit of individual skill from Pablo Campos doubled the Scorpions lead in the 64th minute, as Campos was able to run and weave his way through the Silverbacks and finish calmly in to the near post side.
“Ridiculous,” was the way Estaban Bayona described the goal, “he always surprises me and he continues to surpise me every day”
The Scorpions thought they’d made it three in the 75th minute but Campos’ run was poorly timed and the goal was disallowed.
In the 81st minute the Scorpions finally got their third as Denissen sent the ball for Campos who slammed it through the Silverbacks defense for his brace.
“I could have had four goals,” lamented Campos, “but there was one called for a handball in the first half and the offside, but I’m happy with my goals.”
The win lifts the Scorpions to first place for at least 24 hours with Puerto Rico playing in Edmonton on Sunday in Edmonton.
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