Match Center

  • CompetitionNASL
  • Attendance4868
  • Date26 Jul 14
  • VenueAl Lang Stadium
  • Kick Off06:30 PM EDT
D W W W L
Tampa Bay Rowdies
Tampa Bay Rowdies 0
V
W W W D D
San Antonio Scorpions 2
San Antonio Scorpions

30'T. Zahorski

90'S. Touray

Match Preview: Tampa Bay Rowdies vs San Antonio Scorpions

Match Preview: Tampa Bay Rowdies vs San Antonio Scorpions

TBRvSAS

Webcast: NASLLive.com

TV: ESPN3

 

San Antonio Scorpions aim to remain in first-place in the NASL Fall Standings as they travel to face fellow undefeated side Tampa Bay Rowdies at Al Lang Stadium in the NASL’s ‘Game of the Week’ on ESPN3.  Scorpions are also looking to remain perfect on the road this year having not lost a match in five NASL matches.  Tampa Bay is coming off its second consecutive win of the season last week after topping the host Indy Eleven, 2-1, while Scorpions defeated the visiting RailHawks, 2-0, this past Wednesday.  Through nine NASL regular season encounters the Rowdies have slight edge in the series against Scorpions.  Tampa Bay has taken the last three meetings against San Antonio including the most recent this past Spring, where a game-winner from midfielder Shane Hill gave the visiting Rowdies a 1-0 victory at Toyota Field.

 

Last Five Games: TBR – W L T W W                              SAS – W T W W W    

                                                                                                                                                                                       

Recognition:

TBR-Georgi Hristov, Darel Russell (Team of the Week-2)

SAS-Billy Forbes (Player of the Week-2); David Bingham, Billy Forbes (Team of the Week-2)

 

Stats leaders:

TBR-Goals – Georgi Hristov (5); Assists – Georgi Hristov, Blake Wagner (2)

SAS-Goals – Rafael Castillo, Billy Forbes, Eric Hassli, Tomasz Zahorski (3); Assists – Billy Forbes (5)

 

Series:

NASL Head-to-Head: (9 meetings): Rowdies 5 wins, 0 ties, 4 losses— 16 GF/16 GA (0 GD)

At Rowdies: (4 meetings): Scorpions 2 wins, 0 ties, 2 losses — 6 GF/4 GA (+2 GD)

Last Spring Season: (1 meeting): Rowdies 1 win, 0 ties, 0 losses —1 GF/0 GA (+1 GD)

Last Meeting: May 3, 2014 at Toyota Field — Scorpions 0-1 Rowdies

 

Coaches quotes:

"The Scorpions have been consistent. Alen Marcina has done great with them. He's done extremely well with the group that he has there in building consistency. We expect them to be a force offensively, but on the flip side, we're in a reasonable vein of form right now. Our confidence is high and we're looking to extend our little unbeaten run." – Rowdies coach Ricky Hill

“Saturday's game represents a difficult test as we face a Tampa Bay side that boasts a very talented squad and is undefeated in the fall, while we will be playing our third game in eight days. However, we are up for the challenge and are striving to continually improve and maintain the same performance level we've been displaying so far this fall season." -Scorpions Head Coach Alen Marcina 

 

Referee: Fotis Bazakos

Asst 1: Hassan Belmnahia

Asst 2: Rob Hufham

4th: Daniel Gutierrez

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Tampa Bay Rowdies 0 San Antonio Scorpions 2

The Rowdies fell behind in the 30th minute when Tomasz Zahorski redirected a corner kick toward the Rowdies goal and Lucky Mkosana was unable to prevent it from crossing the line. The Rowdies pushed hard for an equalizer in the second half, but were ultimately caught out in stoppage time by a Sainey Touray goal to seal the scoreline.

TBRvSAS

The Rowdies fell behind in the 30th minute when Tomasz Zahorski redirected a corner kick toward the Rowdies goal. The Rowdies pushed hard for an equalizer in the second half, but were ultimately caught out in stoppage time by a Sainey Touray goal to seal the scoreline.

Tampa Bay fielded an unchanged starting lineup from its 2-1 road win over the Indy Eleven on July 19 and started the match aggressively. Patrolling the right flank, Mkosana charged at Scorpions leftback Stephen DeRoux, forcing San Antonio goalkeeper Josh Saunders into making multiple saves to keep the Rowdies off the scoreboard in the opening 10 minutes. Saunders made his Scorpions debut on the night, playing for the first time.

“I was absolutely delighted for the first 20 minutes,” Rowdies coach Ricky Hill said. “We created chances on goal, near misses and exciting moments, but then we got a little bit complacent when we failed to score.”

From there, San Antonio — coming off a 2-0 midweek win over the Carolina RailHawks — began to find its footing.

“We stopped doing the basic things well,” Hill said. “We stopped protecting the ball and we gave it away cheaply. Unforced errors created anxiety and they managed to score from one of those moments.”

In the 29th minute, Scorpions midfielder Rafael Castillo had a huge shot from outside the box that Rowdies ‘keeper Matt Pickens got to on a full stretch, but he deflected the ball wide to hand San Antonio a corner kick on their attacking right. 

Castillo then took the corner and hit a long outswinger that found Julius James on the far side of the six-yard box. James headed the ball downward into the middle of the area and right into the path of Tomasz Zahorski, who stretched to toe poke the ball home before the in-form Pickens could react. Mkosana attempted to keep the ball out, but was unable.

The Rowdies have fallen behind in all three matches so far this Fall Season, but Saturday night was the first time they failed to turn the result around and win the match.

In the 60th minute, Georgi Hristov fed Casey Townsend a pass that Townsend smashed into the net, but the goal was waved off as offside.

Carl Cort, Brian Shriver and Evans Frimpong were all inserted into the match by Hill, but the Rowdies were unable to find a way past Saunders. 

“Their goalkeeper was inspired and if that happens, we’re going to struggle,” Hill said. “We’re disappointed to concede the second goal because it flatters them slightly and makes it look like it’s been a more difficult night than it was.”

As time wound down and the Rowdies got more desperate, the Scorpions sat deeper in their own half, content to absorb the pressure and quickly counterattack, which is exactly what they did in stoppage time with Eric Hassli feeding Touray as he raced by the Rowdies’ backline to finish easily past Pickens.

"Definitely deserved the three points," said Scorpions coach, Alen Marcina. "We're excited we got the three points undefeated on the road so we're happy."