The Carolina RailHawks fell four points behind the pole position New York Cosmos and three points back on the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the NASL standings as they went down 2-1 to the San Antonio Scorpions.
But the story of the evening was an injury time penalty from Hans Denissen that secured the first Scorpions win of the fall campaign and drew him level in the Golden Boot race.
“We owe it to the fans and to (owner) Gordon Hartman and the guys showed that they put in the work today,” said interim coach Alen Marcina, who recorded his first win in charge of San Antonio.
“We’re rebuilding the foundation and are working hard in training and the guys are fully committed and are getting results.
“They showed character. I told them we continue to play the game and to push out game and we did it and we got three points today.”
The RailHawks took a 1-0 lead into halftime at Toyota Field in San Antonio after Kevin Rutkiewicz scored from a set piece in the 14th minute to give the Carolina club the advantage.
The first half started evenly with both teams taking a few minutes to get a foothold in the match. The Scorpions, who are looking for their first win of the Fall Season, looked to play down the left though Walter Ramirez as they attempted to find a way to score the opener.
But less than 15 minutes into the match, it was the RailHawks who would put the first goal in. Coming from a free kick near the corner flag, Rutkiewicz headed Kenney Walker’s cross past a diving Jeremy Vuolo to give the RailHawks a one goal lead.
The Scorpions continued to press after falling behind, and striker Borja Rubiato had two good opportunities to level the score. The Spanish forward got two shots off, both from Walter Ramirez corners, and saw one saved by Fitzgerald and the other sail over the crossbar.
The RailHawks had a chance to double their lead when they put a ball in the back of the net following a parried save from Vuolo, but the linesman judged the play to be offside and disallowed the goal.
The deserved equalizer came after 53 minutes when Tomasz Zahorski turned tightly just inside the penalty are and unleashed a decisive finish.
In stoppage time with a draw seeming the likely outcome, Denissen tucked away the game-winning penalty to claim the Scorpions’ first win of the fall.
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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|