(photo courtesy of SAScorpions.com)
All the San Antonio Scorpions (0-2-2) could get was a draw against the Atlanta Silverbacks Saturday at Toyota Field, in front of 7,053 fans. Atlanta started by bringing great pressure during the first 20 minutes, which clearly unsettled the Scorpions. Once again, the home team showed poor passing and execution, with several weak shots and missed opportunities. Silverback Richie Menjívar capitalized on the weak Scorpions’ defense with an easy goal at 4:30, much to the chagrin of the San Antonio fans. San Antonio managed to settle down after the first 10 minutes and responded to Atlanta’s pressure with attacks of their own, spoiled by poor execution.
The Scorpions definitely proved to be the more physical of the two clubs, and the first of five yellow cards went to midfielder Walter Ramírez at the 17th minute.
Hans Denissen electrified the stadium in the 20th minute by flipping in a cross from veteran Javier Saavedra to score the first goal of the Scorpions’ season, and the first goal in the new Toyota Field. "He’s very good at linking us and setting up goals," said Coach Tim Hankinson about Saavedra, who was making a rare start and gave the assist to tie the game for the Scorpions, but got injured immediately following the first goal.
Edin Husic managed to follow up Dennisen with his own goal in minute 28 after a deflected pass found him open 20 yards in front of the goal. But Atlanta quickly responded with a display of excellent technical skill from Pedro Mendes to tie the game at 2—2.
The remainder of the game was very physical, with both teams drawing yellow cards and several players earning stern rebukes from the referee, but neither team could find the goal again. Though fans might be disappointed with their team going the first four games without a win, Coach Hankinson is optimistic.
“Both teams have contrasting styles and brought great football tonight,” said Hankinson. “If you’re a fan here tonight you got more than your money’s worth. We need to build on the confidence of scoring goals and make sure that becomes commonplace.”