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Scorpions Win 5th straight Road Match 3-1 Over Cosmos

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(July 12, 2014) - The San Antonio Scorpions won their team-record fifth straight match on the road with a comprehensive 3-1 victory over the New York Cosmos at Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, NY.

Prior to this season, the Cosmos had been 18-0-7 all-time at Shuart Stadium in a streak that dated back to 1972 and the original incarnation of the NASL.  They are now 18-2-7, with both losses coming to the Scorpions. San Antonio also takes over second place in the NASL’s combined table with the three points.

In a tactical switch from the first matchup, the Scorpions came out aggressively and took the action to the Cosmos rather than sitting back and absorbing pressure with eyes on a counter attack as they did in their game in April. San Antonio had crisp passing and controlled possession and the flow of the match, but created little in the way of chances until just before the half.

In the 40’, Walter Restrepo looped a beautiful ball over the New York backline that was timed perfectly to Rafael Castillo’s run. The Colombian midfielder was going to be in on goal alone, but Cosmos ‘keeper Jimmy Maurer came off his line to break up the play.  But instead of punching the ball, Maurer went right through Castillo and the referee immediately pointed to the spot for the penalty kick. Castillo stepped up to take the kick and hit it with enough power that Maurer couldn’t stop the ball even though he guessed correctly on the lower right location.

Castillo - in his NASL debut - then made it a match to remember in the 45’. Tomasz Zahorski earned a free kick 25 yards away from the New York goal when centerback Hunter Gorskie pulled the big striker down from behind. Gorskie was shown a yellow card on the play, but Castillo made them pay  twice with a sure-fire goal of the week candidate. The ball was placed to the attacking right of goal and Castillo struck it left-footed just over the wall before it sharply dipped down below the level of the crossbar. The ball hit the inside of the right post, ricocheted off of Maurer and into the back of the net to double San Antonio’s advantage.

The Cosmos pulled one back on a free kick of their own when Hunter Freeman hit from just outside the box in the 57’. But the New York night would again belong to the Scorpions as Sainey Touray put the game away in the 69’ when he collected a cross from Billy Forbes and then chipped Maurer, who had come off his line and found himself in no-man’s land. The three goals on the night by the Scorpions matched the total number of goals given up by the Cosmos in the entire NASL Spring Season.

Next week San Antonio has their first home match of the Fall Season against the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers while the Cosmos will make their first ever trip to Ottawa to face the expansion Fury.

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