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Photo Credit: Kirk Florendo

Coming off an emotional second win of the season last Saturday, the San Antonio Scorpions (3-1-7) defeated the FC Edmonton Eddies (2-5-4) 1-0 on Sunday, Oct. 13, at Toyota Field.

Despite the continuous rain, many fans were on hand to witness the third win of the season for the Scorpions. Among the fans was actress Eva Longoria, who was there to conduct the honorary coin toss.

Scorpions’ goalkeeper Jeremy Vuolo held FC Edmonton scoreless, marking Vuolo’s second-straight shutout.

“We came out fighting and, for the most part, dominated the first half,” Vuolo said after the game.

The Scorpions showed their newfound tenacity with a goal in the 40th minute from forward Tomas Zahorski, who was named the NASL Player of the Week. Zahorski put a cross pass from teammate Javier Saavedra past Eddies goalkeeper Lance Parker for the 1-0 lead.

Saavedra now has six assists this fall season. His leadership has been a bright spot for the Scorpions’ recent run of victories.

“He (Saavedra) has great experience, is a leader and helps with on-field instruction,” said Alen Marcina, Scorpions head coach.

The game had its fair share of interesting moments. In the 84th minute, due to the aggressive nature of play and lack of offensive success, FC Edmonton defender Eddie Edward earned the only red card of the game when he hit Scorpions player Pat Phelan with a cleats-up slide-tackle while trying to prevent him from heading towards the goal again.

Just five minutes later, lightning struck and caused the game to be delayed for 30 minutes.

With only three games left in the fall season, the Scorpions remain focused on winning.

“We take it game by game. We want to win out,” Marcina said. “Every time we go into the game the goal is to get three points. Now we’re focused on Tampa and getting three points in their house.”

The Scorpions will try to win their first road game of the season when they take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies (4-5-2) in Tampa on Oct. 19, at 6:30 p.m.

Following the Scorpions game against FC Edmonton, an exhibition match at Toyota Field between Santos Laguna and Xolozcuicles of Tijuana was played to a 1-1 draw in front of 5,000 soccer fans in what was promoted as the “Battle of Champions.”

Both teams played the game without quality players such as Fernando Arce (Mexico), Edgar Castillo (USA), Oribe Peralta (Mexico) and Felipe Baloy (Panama) as they were participating in FIFA International Qualifying games.

The crowd was still delighted to see the two teams compete in San Antonio, even in a rain-soaked evening.

Santos struck first in the 40th minute when right wing Nestor Calderon shot the ball from a great distance and put it past Tijuana goalkeeper Cirilo Saucedo, who couldn’t do anything to stop the tremendous shot.

Three minutes later, Tijuana was quick to capitalize after midfielder Joe Corona volleyed a ball past Santos goalkeeper Julio Gonzalez.

Both coaches tried to play all their players with an unlimited substitution rule for the match.

In the second half, the actions slowed, as Santos and Tijuana combined to take just six shots.

Both teams are getting ready for the last games in the Bancomer Mexican League. Santos Laguna is set to make the playoffs as they currently are in fourth place with five games left. Tijuana stands in ninth place trying to sneak into the playoff hunt with four games left.

Santos Laguna will host Monterrey next Friday at Torreon Coahuila, while Tijuana will visit the Toluca Red Devils next Sunday at the Nemesio Diez Stadium.

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