San Antonio Scorpions - 180 minutes from inaugural year NASL championship final
With less than 24 hours left until the biggest day in San Antonio Scorpion’s short and illustrious history when they face Minnesota in the opening leg of the their NASL Championship semi-final tie, the team and players will sleep anxiously tonight in the hope that they are simply just two results away from a final that could only be dreamt of at the beginning of the current season.
Ending the season as regular season champs gave the Scorpions the chance to rest last weekend when the quarter finals were taking place, as a playoff bye eased them into this weekends semis without needing to kick a ball, whereas their opponents for the semis,Minnesota Stars, managed to edge through after defeating Puerto Rico Islanders 2-1 on the road.
Offensively, both sides show quite variable statistics.
With Scorpions striker Pablo Campos managing 20 strikes on target this season in the NASL regular season, he earned the accolade of Golden Boot winner for the league whilst Minnesotas Amani Walker managed just seven goals as team top scorer from a team that managed just 34 in total from the whole squad.
Defensive wise, San Antonio Scorpions goalkeeper Daryl Sattler recently topped the goalie charts when he was awarded the 2012 NASL Golden Glove award, with a tremendously low 0.79 GAA while logging 2,151 minutes between the sticks. During the season, Sattler managed 13 shutouts in 24 matches.
The Stars keeper Matt Van Oekel managed 77 saves in the regular season whilst holding a 1.20 goals against average and also made seven saves in his teams victory over the Islanders on September 30th.
Although never having been beaten by the Stars, matches this season have always been tight and close to the bone with the most recent tie between them ending as most others had in the four match regular season with yet another 1-1 draw.
With three matches ending as 1-1 draws between the two sides, this record was only broken with a 1-0 victory for the Scorpions in Minnesota on August 11th.
The omens look good as the Scorpions head into this weekends semi-final opener in Minnesota, what with a hundred percent non loss record against the Stars and a striker and goalkeeper on fire, the stats bode well for the San Antonio side as they look to add the NASL Championship trophy to the Regular Season Trophy that already sits in pride of place in the newly anointed silverware cabinet.
After this weekends match, the second leg moves to San Antonio which will be played at Heroes Stadium on Sunday October 14th with a 6pm kickoff to decide the finalist for the season.
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