The expansion San Antonio Scorpions of the NASL stunned the 2011 MLS Cup runners-up in an incredible night of US Open Cup action when they defeated the Houston Dynamo 1-0 at Heroes Stadium Tuesday night.
The Scorpions came out determined, lining up in an incredibly attack oriented formation, playing 4-3-3, looking to get at the Dynamo from the start.
That attacking philosophy, though, would not pay off until early in the second half. The Scorpions got the winner in the 50th minute after Kevin Harmse sent a ball over the top for Pablo Campos, who was brought down in the box. The foul gave a penalty to the Scorpions that Hans Dennison converted with a strike into the upper left corner of the net.
Scorpions Coach Tim Hankinson was delighted, saying “If you look at our chances compared to theirs we could have had three goals. We were a little unlucky not to have three goals.”
Houston Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear, on the other hand, was obviously disappointed after the match. “We were expecting to win, but we knew it wasn’t going to easy. It’s difficult (to shuffle the line-up) but I thought that was a team that was going to win the game tonight. It’s all about energy and desire to play; and it doesn’t matter what I do, it’s ultimately down to the players.”
The Scorpions will now face USL’s Charlotte Eagles, who defeated FC Dallas with a surprising 2-0 upset at Pizza Hut Park. Tim Hankinson, though, was not taking anything for granted. “I’m sure FC Dallas thought it would be easy, but they’re a very good team.”
Houston had the first chance of the game as they worked through to allow Cam Weaver space, but his shot went straight at Daryl Sattler.
The Scorpions had a great opportunity in the eighth minute as Pablo Campos made space on the left and sent in a beautiful ball that Estaban Bayona couldn’t connect with, allowing Colin Clark to clear for a corner.
Houston got back control after the quarter-hour mark, setting up a number of good set pieces, but without Brad Davis lacked that threat and failed to convert.
Bayona had another good opportunity in the 24th minute as he was able to get away a header from the edge of the area but there wasn’t enough power on the header making it an easy save for Tyler Deric.
Cam Weaver did brilliantly in the 26th minute but his effort to keep the ball in play but his hard work was not rewarded by his team mates.
Estaban Bayona got through one-one-one after an amazing 40 yard run that was very well saved by Deric to deny the opportunity and set up a great counter that saw Alex Dixon shoot from the edge of the area only to see another great save, this time from Sattler, to keep it scoreless at half time.
Five minutes after San Antonio took the lead, Adam Moffatt hit a typically powerful free kick that was well struck but the San Antonio defense stood up and blocked the shot.
Dennison was again put clean through in the 59th minute but again Deric stood up well and denied another one-on-one.
Pablo Campos again got clean through in the 68th minute with some neat footwork but his shot went across the face of goal with no one to tap it in.
In the final 20 minutes the match became much more physical as the fouls flew in preventing the build up at all costs.
Kevin Harmse set up Wes Knight clean through of the defense, but his shot with plenty of time and space but sent his shot just wide.