San Antonio – It was supposed to be a team on the rise versus the one who is atop of the table, but it quickly turned into a match where the only person wearing a different color jersey thought he was the 23rd player on the field. San Antonio faced off this past Saturday against the Ottawa Fury at Toyota Field. The game started off level with each side taking pokes at the other trying to figure out each others weakness.
The Scorpions had their first opportunity in the 18th minute when Billy Forbes found himself behind the Fury defense on the left side. He was able find the team-leading scorer Omar Cummings inside the box, but Cummings decided to slide the pass to Milton Palacios on the right side. Milton was unfortunate with his open look as he fired it wide of the net.
The unfortunate part about this game was that San Antonio was dealt a game changing blow as referee Nima Saghafi saw fit to issue Scorpions defender Zourab Tsiskaridze his second yellow card only 40’ into game. The tackle appeared to be in time but some theatrics by Ottawa’s Mauro Eustaquio were the selling piece to the referee who was within several feet of the challenge. This predicament changed what appeared to be a great starting eleven by having five players on the back line. Unfortunately when one of your defenders is taken out of action is eliminates those additional opportunities to exploit the opposition.
It only took seven minutes into the second half for the Fury to find the back of the net. It came off a set piece that initially was saved by the Scorpions captain Rafael Castillo who was standing his spot on the far post. He was initially able to clear the ball but after the Fury were able to regain control and set up the Brazilian forward for what turned out to be a game-wining header.
San Antonio was able to muster a few more attacks that came up short handed the remainder of the second half but it was clear after the red card given to Tsiskaridze that anything other than a loss would have been a blessing. Being critical of the officiating is human nature for fans, coaches, players and media. Joey Crawford is near and dear to the hearts of all Spurs fans(pun intended). While the referee was equitable with card sharing, it only leads one to believe that we don’t know the entire story. Cards aren’t only given for the physical action of a player but also the verbal.
San Antonio has a quick turnaround this week with a game on Wednesday night as they host the Carolina Rail Hawks at Toyota Field.