SAN ANTONIO, TX (Sept 16, 2012) - In their first home match in nearly a month, a comeback effort by the San Antonio Scorpions fell short in a 2-1 loss against the Carolina RailHawks on a rainy Sunday night at Heroes Stadium in front of 7,701 fans.
Despite the loss, the Scorpions (13W-7T-6L) remained atop the NASL standings with just two games remaining in the regular season. San Antonio has a three-point advantage over the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the race for the NASL regular season championship.
"There was a chance to close the deal, but we gave up too many chances tonight," Scorpions Head Coach Tim Hankinson said. "We didn't finish on the chances we had, especially in the first half."
The Scorpions first real scoring chance came in the 5th minute, when forward Pablo Campos dribbled into the box and found Walter Ramirez for an open look on goal. Ramirez's shot on goal was blocked away by the RailHawks defense to end the threat.
In the 12th minute, Hans Denissen lobbed a pass up to Esteban Bayona, who was all alone with the RailHawks goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald. Bayona's quick shot ended up in the hands of Fitzgerald, who turned down the early San Antonio attack.
The RailHawks had their first good scoring chance in the 15th minute with three separate RailHawks shots on goal, but the Scorpions defense was able to avoid giving up an early goal and keep the match scoreless.
Campos was one-on-one with Fitzgerald in the 18th minute, giving the Scorpions another chance to go ahead early on. But Fitzgerald scooped the ball from Campos' feet to keep the Scorpions off the board.
In the 31st minute, Bayona was on the receiving end of another long pass and found himself alone with only Fitzgerald to beat, but the Carolina keeper denied Bayona of the chance to put the Scorpions ahead early.
The RailHawks scored the first goal of the match when Gale Agbossoumonde knocked in a header in the 42nd minute to put Carolina ahead 1-0. The goal was the first given up by Daryl Sattler at home this season.
The Scorpions finally broke through in the 63rd minute when Campos received a pass from Jeff Cunningham and fired it past Fitzgerald to tie the match at 1-1.
For Campos, it was his league-leading 19th goal of the season and his fifth goal overall against his former team. He is now one goal away from matching last year's NASL Golden Boot winner Etienne Barbara's goal total from 2011.
But the RailHawks retook the lead in the the 69th minute when Ty Shipalane dribbled around Sattler and buried the ball into the back of the net.
The Scorpions, looking to find another tying goal, nearly found the back of the net in the 76th minute, but a shot by Campos went high over the crossbar.
Blake Wagner tried his luck from distance in the 81st minute but his shot went just over the upper corner of the goal.
In the 87th minute, Campos passed the ball to Cunningham in the box, but Cunnigham's shot went just wide.
Despite outshooting the RailHawks 13 to five in the second half, the Scorpions were unable to score the tying goal in their first loss to Carolina this season.