Toyota Field – The San Antonio Scorpions kept their playoff hopes alive with a 2-0 shutout win over Indy Eleven in front of 7,232 fans at Toyota Field on Saturday night.
Both teams came out aggressive as Omar Cummings nearly gave the Scorpions an early lead, but his shot attempt went wide. 10 minutes later, the Jamaican had a point blank chance, but Indy ‘keeper Keith Cardona made the save. Indy midfielder Don Smart put a shot on goal in the 9th minute, but San Antonio goalkeeper Daniel Fernandes punched the ball away to keep the match scoreless.
Marvin Chávez attempted to put a shot on goal in stoppage time, but was tackled down by Cardona and San Antonio was awarded a penalty.
Rafael Castillo drilled the penalty kick as he placed the ball in the left corner, out of Cardona’s reach, giving the Scorpions the 1-0 lead going into the second half.
Indy began the second half very aggressive, looking to tie the match. Indy sent a cross towards the net in the 50th minute and was tipped by Dane Richards, but Fernandes grabbed the ball off the line to keep his team up by a goal.
Billy Forbes came on as a second half substitute and made his impact felt. Forbes sent a cross to Castillo, who sent a shot towards the net past Cardona to put the red and black up 2-0 in the 72nd minute. The assist from Forbes was his seventh of the 2015 season.
San Antonio’s defense held up for the rest of the game as Fernandes earned his third shutout. However, César Elizondo was shown a Red Card in stoppage time and will not be available for next weekends match.
“Hats off to the guys. They deserved the win,” Scorpions head coach Alen Marcina said. “I don’t think it was our best game, but at the same time three points on our third game in eight days.”
The victory moved San Antonio to ninth in the combined standings and are just five points behind the Tampa Bay Rowdies for the final playoff spot.
“This season it does not seem really good if you compare it to last year, it’s not a good season, and we recognize that,” Castillo said through a translator. “Right now we have to trust that we can get the playoffs, so the only thing that we have to do is keep working…we have to keep trying every game because we still have some chances and we have to know that.”
The Scorpions are now 3-4-5 (13 points) in the Fall Season and will return to the pitch next Saturday when they travel to Florida to take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies at 6 p.m.