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Scorpions fall to Minnesota in opener

Scorpions and Minnesota United players react to Julius James' red card
Scorpions and Minnesota United players react to Julius James' red card
courtesy Robin Jerstad

The San Antonio Scorpions collapsed in their season opener as they fell to a 2-0 loss to Minnesota United at Toyota Field on Saturday night.

It was a reasonably tight start to the match, but soon Minnesota grabbed the upper hand, and in the 17th minute they had the opening goal.

Former Scorpion and Minnesota captain, Aaron Pitchkolan haunted his former club as he chipped a ball over the Scorpions defense allowing Christian Ramirez to control, turn and shoot, putting it out of the reach of David Bingham.

The Scorpions tried to come back in to the match but in the 25th minute the Scorpions chances of winning the match took a heavy hit as Julius James took offense to a high boot from Tiago Calvano and shoved him down, forcing the referee to issue a straight red card to James.

The red card seemed to push the Scorpions in to action, as they started to control the match and possession, but they struggled to finish the chances that they created, despite having plenty of the ball, they went to the break 1-0 down.

Minnesota came back in to the match in the second half, as both sides looked to fight to get control of the match, but with a man disadvantage the Scorpions needed a goal back in order to get back in to the match.

The Scorpions could well have had an equalizer in the 67th minute as Walter Restrepo worked his way around the Minnesota defense, took contact and went to ground, only for the referee to not award the penalty that Restrepo was appealing for.

One minute later, new boy Eric Hassli stepped up to hit a free-kick from just outside the area but was denied as Matt van Oekel who made a superb low save.

The tired legs finally caught up with the Scorpions in the 73rd minute as Adrian Cann brought down his striker, allowing Kevin Venegas to step up and hit the free-kick powerfully over the wall to seal the win for Minnesota.

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