Toyota Field – There is a reason Billy Forbes is a fan favorite among the San Antonio Scorpions faithful. He made his presence felt the minute he stepped on the pitch and helped the defending champions secure three points on Saturday.
Forbes scored the lone goal after coming into the game as a second-half substitute to lift the Scorpions to a 1-0 win over Jacksonville Armada in front of 7,569 fans at Toyota Field.
“We’re very fortunate, being in the position to have a player like Billy Forbes in the batch,” Scorpions head coach Alen Marcina said. “We know he is a special player and he came out big for us tonight. Hat’s off to Billy to get the assist and getting that point for us.”
Much of the first half was played in the middle of the field as both teams tried to push the ball down the field with little luck. San Antonio had their best chance in the 31st minute when Stephen DeRoux sent a pass to an open Omar Cummings, but it went wide an out of play.
Jacksonville opened the second half with aggressive play in the San Antonio area. Forward Pascal Millien sent a hard shot towards the net, but it was stopped by Scorpions goalkeeper Daniel Fernandes in the 54th minute.
Forbes came into the game in the 59th minute and quickly made an impact.
Tyler Gibson sent a pass to a streaking Forbes, who sent sent a shot towards the far post and out of the reach of Jacksonville ‘keeper Miguel Gallardo. The goal scored in the 64th minute gave the Scorpions a 1-0 lead they would not lose.
Jacksonville’s best chance came in the 78th minute when Jemal Johnson sent a shot towards the net from inside the box, but Fernandes went to the ground to make the key save. The Portuguese international had a total of four saves in the match. Four minutes of stoppage time was added, but San Antonio’s defense held on for the one goal win.
“Once I get in, I know what to do,” Forbes said. “Alen [Marcina] told me ‘hey you have got to be the difference maker’, and thank God I was able to get the goal tonight.”
The win pushed the Red and Black from 11th to ninth in the NASL Fall Season table, just two points out of six place.
The Scorpions are now 5-5-8 (8 points) on the season and will return to the pitch next Saturday for a rematch with Jacksonville Armada FC at 6 p.m. inside Community First Park.