The Fort Lauderdale Strikers travel to Heroes Stadium in San Antonio, Texas to take on the league-leading San Antonio Scorpions. The teams met just last weekend in Fort Lauderdale, playing out a dramatic 2-2 draw highlighted by late heroics from players on both sides.
In that match Scorpions’ forward Pablo Campos struck in extra time to tie the game at two, just moments after Andy Herron had given the Strikers a 2-1 lead with a free kick from just outside the box in the final seconds of regulation time. Daryl Sattler was unable to do anything to stop that shot, but on the final play of the match, the league-leader in GAA popped up with a spectacular acrobatic save to deny Mark Anderson from scoring the winner off a free kick that was heading into the top corner.
It was the third game in a row that the Strikers were unable to hold the lead, and the second successive game conceding a stoppage-time equalizer. In Wednesday’s match against Minnesota Stars FC, the Strikers looked to be continuing the trend, after Simone Bracalello cut the Strikers lead to one following two first half goals from Mark Anderson. Fortunately for Fort Lauderdale the equalizer never came for the Stars who were playing in front of over 4,000 fans at NSC Stadium, and the Strikers were able to leave Minnesota with their first away win of the year.
Though there have been just two encounters between the Strikers and expansion side San Antonio, both matches have been tight, cagey affairs. In the first-ever meeting between the two sides, Hans Denissen scored a 90th minute equalizer in front of a home crowd 10,114 strong at Heroes Stadium. A total of four players were sent off, two from each side, following several altercations in the closing stages of the match.
The Scorpions are a single point ahead of the Puerto Rico Islanders at the summit of the NASL standings, despite having played one game fewer. San Antonio is also five points clear of fifth place Fort Lauderdale. With a win, the Strikers can cut the gap between themselves and the Scorpions down to just two points, potentially leapfrogging Minnesota and Tampa Bay Rowdies along the way.
San Antonio Scorpions vs. Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Saturday, July 21, 2012— 8:45 P.M. EDT
San Antonio, TX
Webcast: NASL on ustream
2012 Series: Tied, 0-2-0, 2 points
San Antonio Fort Lauderdale
Head Coach Tim Hankinson Daryl Shore
2012 Records 1st: 8-5-3, 29 points 5th: 6-6-6, 24 points
Last Five Games L W W L T W L T T W
Goals Leader Pablo Campos (10) Mark Anderson (9)
Assists Leader Esteban Bayona (4) Walter Restrepo (6)
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|New York Cosmos||14||9||4||1||10||31|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||14||5||5||4||3||20|
|Minnesota United FC||14||6||2||6||2||20|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||14||5||3||6||-2||18|
|San Antonio Scorpions||14||3||1||10||-9||10|
|San Antonio Scorpions||12||6||2||4||4||20|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||12||5||3||4||5||18|
|Minnesota United FC||12||4||2||6||-5||14|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||12||2||2||8||-14||8|