The Eddies started as the brighter side in their 2013 NASL home opener, creating a couple of chances in the first few minutes. In the seventh minute Edmonton sent in a dangerous free kick that squirmed its way through the crowd and just needed a touch from defender Carlyle Mitchell, but he couldn’t get on the end of it. As the game progressed, the Scorpions began to grab a foothold within the match. Defender Blake Wagner shimmied his way past a defender to create space for a hard right-footed shot that flew just past the near post.
Just ten minutes into the game, the Scorpions, who were already playing with a shortened squad, had to make their first change of the game when defender Greg Janicki picked up an apparent injury. Chris Williams came on for Janicki, making his Scorpions debut.
Edmonton forward Michael Cox was given the first yellow card of the game after he left his foot in too long during a challenge with Scorpions goalkeeper Patrick Hannigan. Hannigan came off his line to smother a ball in the box when Cox committed the late challenge.
The Scorpions had their best chance of the first half in the 24th minute when defender Luka Vucko started an attacked from defense, and ran his way to the front nearly converting a Bayona cross.
The Scorpions entered half time down 1-0 after Saiko converted the injury time penalty. Defender Eddie Edward made a great run into the Scorpions box during a counter attack and was judged to be brought down Harmse.
Scorpions Head Coach Tim Hankinson was not pleased with the team’s physical presence, and thought that San Antonio could have been more aggressive, especially in the first half.
“We came here for a football war and we have to be more aggressive,” he said. “We are the ones who are taking the fouls and not getting the calls and we have to turn that around and be a more physical team.”
The Scorpions dominated possession for the majority of the second half, but couldn’t find the elusive first goal of the season. Despite having four straight corner kicks around the 70th minute, San Antonio couldn’t steer the ball into the back of the net.
In the last ten minutes of the game, San Antonio piled on the pressure and forced a great save from Eddies goalkeeper Lance Parker in the 82nd minute after forward Ivan Milicevic created some space for himself on the right hand side. The Scorpions actually put the ball in the back of the net in the 84th minute when defender Luka Vucko steered a looping header in at the far post from a Hans Denissen free kick, but the goal was ruled out after Vucko was judged to be offside.
Scorpions forward Esteban Bayona registered a couple of late shots on target and San Antonio created chances all the way until the final whistle, but could not find a way to grab their first goal.
Hankinson rued the lack of communication and help from his midfield on both sides of the ball.
“Every time our backs get the ball, they are looking for help and looking for feet to pass to,” said Hankinson. “It seems like our midfield is watching rather than moving. Then when we get balls to our strikers, the midfielders aren’t transitioning to support them quickly enough, so we have a disconnect in both of those areas.”
Three yellow cards were handed out in the match, including one to Scorpions midfielder Jeff Jennings after a late challenge just before the final whistle that sparked some tempers from both teams. Cooler heads prevailed and the referee blew the whistle, signaling the Scorpions second loss of the season.