The San Antonio Scorpions were again felled by a dramatic injury time goal, this time as a rebound cannoned off defender Connor Tobin to earn Minnesota United a 3-2 away win and joint third place in the NASL standings.
Down to 10 men, the Scorpions looked to be on course for their first point of the NASL Fall Season under interim coach Alen Marcina until the last touch of the game proved decisive.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the guys because they played until the final whistle,” said United FC coach Manny Lagos. “It’s nice that we can create the good moments to win. The only time of the game I was frustrated was when we went up a man and we let San Antonio back into the game.”
Former Scorpion Pablo Campos tallied two goals to give United a 2-1 lead early in the second half, only to see the advantge evaporate in the 78th minute after a great finish from the Scorpions Tomasz Zahorski. Minnesota snatched victory in the final moments after Miguel Ibarra snuck a cross through the Scorpions defense, where Tobin was in the right place at the right time with the final play of the game, giving United the victory.
"I couldn’t be prouder of the guys because they played until the final whistle," said United head coach Manny Lagos. "It’s nice that we can create the good moments to win."
Minnesota came into Saturday in seventh place in the North American Soccer League standings, looking to push into the upper half of the table. The Scorpions entered the weekend, sitting in eighth, having relieved their head coach, Tim Hankinson of his coaching duties, leaving former Minnesota Thunder player, Alen Marcina as the interim head coach.
United came out very crisp and precise as they strung together passes throughout the opening 15 minutes of the match, keeping San Antonio on the back foot.
Walter Ramirez gave the Scorpions the early lead in the 14th minute with an expertly curled shot from 25 yards out that found the top left corner. Campos answered 20 minutes later, as he found himself in front of the Scorpions net in the 34th minute, finishing easily to level the match at 1-1.
United came out strong to open the second 45 and Campos scored his second goal of the game, and eighth of the 2013 season, after persevering in front of the net, getting his own deflection and slotting it home to give United the 2-1 lead. Things would get worse for the Scorpions in the 57th minute as midfielder Jeff Jennings was shown the straight red card for a sliding challenge on United defender Cristiano Dias.
Minnesota allowed possession to level out despite the man advantage and saw their lead slip away in the 78th minute as the Scorpions Tomasz Zahorski bolted a shot past United keeper Matt VanOekel tying the game at 2-2. Campos had a chance at a hat trick in the 88th minute as he cheekily slipped a chip over Scorpions keeper Pat Hannigan, only to see it drift agonizingly wide of the right post.
As the referee signaled for five minutes of added time, United seized their opportunity with the final touch of the match. Minnesota winger Miguel Ibarra diligently fought for the ball deep into Scorpions territory and found himself gashing into the box where he laid across a tantalizing ball that only required body contact to send it into the back of the net. Connor Tobin gladly obliged, getting the touch and sending United home with a thrilling, well-deserved 3-2 victory.
|New York Cosmos||31||14||9||4||1||10|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||20||14||5||5||4||3|
|Minnesota United FC||20||14||6||2||6||2|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||18||14||5||3||6||-2|
|San Antonio Scorpions||10||14||3||1||10||-9|
|San Antonio Scorpions||20||12||6||2||4||4|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||18||12||5||3||4||5|
|Minnesota United FC||14||12||4||2||6||-5|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||8||12||2||2||8||-14|