RECAP | Scorpions 3, Silverbacks 3

Scorpions claw back from two goals down to earn point
NASL Staff | Sep 26, 2015

A six-goal thriller split between two teams needing maximum points in the NASL Fall Season closed Match Day 25 at Toyota Field in San Antonio on Saturday. The Atlanta Silverbacks (7-9-9, 30 points Combined Table) took the lead twice — off a pair of Jaime Chavez strikes — before the San Antonio Scorpions (6-8-10, 26 points) equalized with just seconds to go. The 3-3 draw is the second of the season between Atlanta and San Antonio, who shared the same scoreline on Aug. 8 in Atlanta.

Chavez’s brace pulled him into a tie with Pedro Mendes as the Silverbacks leading goal scorer with seven. Mendes was a 71st minute substitute, replacing Chavez, after Silverbacks coach Gary Smith employed a one-striker system for the first time this season.

Chavez surged the Silverbacks into the lead just eight minutes in, nodding home a Kyle Porter cross. With the early lead and Chavez’s clinical finish growing the visitors' confidence, the Silverbacks calmly shifted the ball throughout the midfield with consistent possession through the first 30 minutes.

A second goal came inside that Silverbacks-dominated half hour, this time off a set piece following a foul on Paulo Mendes from about 35 yards out. Junior Burgos swung the sliding free kick toward the Scorpions 6-yard box, finding an on-rushing Rauwshan McKenzie’s forehead. The goal was McKenzie’s first of his NASL career.

The home team grew into the game right before the intermission, producing a goal off a broken corner kick when Nana Attakora redirect the ball by Atlanta’s Steward Ceus.

Into the start of the second half, San Antonio applied pressure with no reward. Atlanta finally silenced them with Chavez’s second of the match, a coolly executed two-touch finish from the center of the 18-yard box after Burgos threaded him between San Antonio’s trailing central defense. Chavez took the ball in stride before slipping it into the back of the net. The two-assist night put Burgos’ total at five since re-joining the Silverbacks for the Fall Season.

Chaos closed the match, with controversy clouding San Antonio’s final two goals.

First, in the 78th minute, Cesar Elizondo fed a centralized Marvin Chavez at the top of Atlanta’s 18-yard box. Chavez put the strike away, but the goal was originally waved off due to the assistant referee’s flag. After a meeting between central official Jose Carlos Rivero and his assistant, the goal was then awkwardly allowed — cutting the Scorpions deficit to just a goal.

With less than a minute left to play, San Antonio equalized off an Elizondo curler that struck both goal posts and appeared to have been saved by Ceus before being ruled a goal.

Atlanta, despite not claiming maximum points, was aided by other results across the league. The Silverbacks sit just three points below the fourth and final spot in the Championship with five games to play.

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