By MIKE GRAMAJO
San Antonio were hoping to start life in their new home with a win, Tampa Bay decided to spoil that.
The Scorpions opened up their home season in their new soccer-specific stadium on Saturday, but it was the Rowdies who took the victory at Toyota Field in front of 8,100 fans in attendance.
“Obviously we’re delighted to come away with three points,” said Rowdies coach Ricky Hill. “We were determined to come here and, without being disrespectful, spoil the party. It’s a fantastic arena and they’re fantastic supporters and I thought the atmosphere actually lifted our team tonight.
San Antonio outshot Tampa Bay 13-4, but an early 12th-minute goal from Amani Walker gave the St. Petersburg side an early lead. Georgi Hristov’s would make it 2-0, scoring a penalty kick in the 55th minute of play after getting brought down by Scorpions goalkeeper Pat Hannigan inside the box.
Here’s a look back in the rest of Week 2 action in the NASL:
RAILHAWKS TOP EDMONTON
Two second-half strikes was all the Carolina RailHawks needed to secure a 2-1 victory against visiting FC Edmonton, in front of an announced home-opening crowd of 5,033.
With the first half ending in a scoreless draw, Austin Da Luz opened up the scoring for the RailHawks, heading the ball to the far-right post in the 51st minute after Ty Shipalane whipped the ball towards the center of the box.
“The first goal is always very important,” said RailHawks coach Colin Clarke.
Edmonton almost sparked a late comeback after Massimo Mirabelli scored in injury time to make it 2-1, but Carolina were able to stop that from happening.
LATE HEROICS LIFT SILVERBACKS OVER STRIKERS
A late collapse from Ft. Lauderdale caused Atlanta to capitalize and finish with a 2-0 win in their season opener, Saturday night at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.
Alberto “Betto” Navarro put Atlanta up 1-0 in the 86th minute after a defensive error from Ft. Lauderdale saw them lose a throw ball as Navarro finished with the mistake. Danny Barrera would insure the 2-0 win two minutes later after another defensive collapse from the Strikers lead to a Silverbacks counter attack.
“Fort Lauderdale had a chance to score tonight and my boys stopped them from scoring and hats off to them,” said Silverbacks coach Brian Haynes. “I’m so glad they got the win they deserved.”