The San Antonio Scorpions overcame the Atlanta Silverbacks 3-0, Saturday night with a goal from Esteban Bayona and two goals from Pablo Campos.
Atlanta sit at the bottom of the table with a -13 goal differential and struggling to compete on a consistent basis and are finding it even more difficult earning points away from home. Atlanta were determined to turn this opportunity into a road win but the match very quickly began to resemble their last encounter at Heroes Stadium.
Just under the 15 minute mark Wes Knight pushed forward for the Scorpions on the right side to send a cross toward the six of Atlanta’s defense but it deflected for a corner.
The resulting movement forward seemed to instigate the attack for San Antonio and brought the second place team to life. The next 5 minutes San Antonio would dominate possession.
Then, Pablo Campos was released for a direct scoring opportunity but the ball traveled a little faster on the turf than he could keep up with.
Again, in the 23rd minute, Hans Denissen found himself at the end line on the right side and just did enough to kick the ball in the air toward the opposite side of the six where it fell to Esteban Bayona who expertly headed the ball in the opposite direction beating the keeper for his third goal of the season.
Five minutes later Atlanta pressed forward and managed a nice attack from the right side by Danilo Turcios.
But San Antonio would continue to press with yet another well coordinated attack from Denissen moving across the field to find an open Jonathan Greenfield. Greenfield was in an optimal position to slot the ball behind an advancing Illyes but elected to pass. The resulting through ball proved to be too fast on the artificial turf for Bayona to catch, however.
Toward the end of the half Atlanta kept their spirits up and continued to fight bolstered by the play of Atlanta midfielders Borfur Carr and Danilo Turcios. Both players were desperately trying to get service into forward Matt Horth, hoping to get the Atlanta forward off the mark as he did so often in 2011 with eight league goals.
But the night would prove to be fruitless for Horth and Atlanta, were forced to bring on their leading scorer Navias who started the match on the bench but came on just before an hour into the game.
Coming out at the second half the Scorpions continued their onslaught advancing the ball on the left side with spirited wing play from Greenfield and Blake Wagner. In the 54th minute Atlanta was awarded a free kick at the top right side of the box. Danilo Turcios sent the ball just over the right corner trying to catch Sattler off his line.
At the 63rd minute, Pablo Campos received the ball from a quick counter attack almost near the middle of the park and ran straight for goal with only Atlanta defender Shane Moraney to beat. Campos swerved back and forth with typical Brazilian ease moving past Moraney and rifled a shot low and to the left beating Illyes, finishing a beautiful individual piece of work.
The second goal took a lot of steam out of Atlanta but to their credit maintained a free and open attack pressing San Antonio with some great interchanges from end to end.
But toward the end of the game, Campos broke free again in the box and slammed home a well placed corner from Walter Ramirez at the top of the six with almost no effort to score his eighth goal of the season.
The game finished 3-0 to send San Antonio top of the league with seven wins. San Antonio faces FC Edmonton with a midweek feature for the July 4th holiday but the standings could change yet again when Puerto Rico take on FC Edmonton Sunday.
“All these games are difficult and it was great getting three points tonight,” said Scorpions head coach Tim Hankinson. “We’ll be fighting for three points on Wednesday and we’ve got Puerto Rico and Ft. Lauderdale coming up. It’s important to focus on the next three games as well.”