For the San Antonio Scorpions, Opening Kick 2013 represents a chance to avenge their loss in the semifinal round of the 2012 NASL playoffs. Following a scoreless draw in Minnesota in the first leg of the series, the Regular Season Champions crashed out at home against the Stars, through much of their own doing.
Most memorably, it was Scorpions’ leading scorer and NASL Golden Boot and Golden Ball winner Pablo Campos’ lapse in judgment that cost San Antonio the match. Moments after giving his side the lead, Campos went from hero to zero with a red card-worthy head-butt on Stars’ captain Kyle Altman, leaving his side down a man with over an hour still to play.
After almost fifty minutes of non-stop pressure on the Scorpions defense, it seemed inevitable that Minnesota would score. The breakthrough came in the 76th minute when Blake Wagner inadvertently turned Neil Hlavaty’s cross into his own net for the equalizer.
A Simone Bracalello long-range strike minutes later sent goalkeeper Daryl Sattler sprawling across the goal line, the low drive sneaking in at the far post to send the Stars to their second consecutive NASL Championship Series appearance.
It was the first time in six encounters that the Stars had defeated San Antonio. Except for a controversial 1-0 defeat on August 11 in which Minnesota had two seemingly legitimate goals chalked off by the officials, all the other matches ended as stalemates.
On April 6, 2013 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota, when the two teams meet sparks are sure to fly.