Scorpions Earn Draw Against Three-Time CONCACAF Champion Saprissa In Friendly
A second half goal from defender Greg Janicki gave the hosts San Antonio Scorpions of the NASL a 1-1 draw against the 29-time Costa Rican First Division Champions, Deportivo Saprissa, in an international friendly to close out the 2014 preseason on Saturday evening at Toyota Field.
"It was a good result against this team Saprissa," said Janicki after the match. "It was a great ball from Danny (Barrera) and it was long waited goal that we deserved."
The three-time winner of the CONCACAF Champions Cup (now Champions League), Saprissa took the lead in the 30th minute with a penalty kick goal from forward Ulises Segura after a foul inside the 18-yard box by the defender Adrian Cann.
The Scorpions looked for the equalizer and came close on chances from Polish striker Tomasz Zahorski and Trinidad & Tobago defender Julius James but the score remained 1-0 in favor of Saprissa going into halftime.
In the second half, the Scorpions continued their pressure towards the goal of Saprissa with the goalkeeper posting several key stops. However, in the 79th minute San Antonio notched the equalizer when Janicki scored off a corner kick from Colombian forward Danny Barrera.
Midfielder Walter Restrepo had a chance for the game-winner with seven minutes remaining but his shot went wide of goal for the 1-1 final score.
The encounter was the first meeting between the Scorpions and Saprissa, who was also the first Costa Rican team to qualify and finish third at the FIFA Club World Cup in 2005. It was also the first visit by Saprissa to the state of Texas since the 2008 Champions’ Cup.
The Scorpions are scheduled to kick off the 2014 NASL Spring Season when they greet Minnesota United FC on April 12.
04.05.2014: San Antonio, Texas; Toyota Field
SAN ANTONIO SCORPIONS - DEPORTIVO SAPRISSA (CRC) 1-1 (0-1)
Greg JANICKI 79’ – Ulises SEGURA 30’ pen
San Antonio Scorpions: David Bingham - Jonathan Borrajo, Greg Janicki, Adrian Cann, Stephen DeRoux, Danny Barrera, Richard Menjivar, Julius James, Shaun Saiko (55: Sainey Touray), Tomasz Zahorski (64: Eric Hassli), Walter Restrepo (90: Jonathan Faña). Booked: DeRoux 53’, Janicki 60’
Deportivo Saprissa: Danny Carvajal, Sergio Cordoba, Luis Flores, Luis Rojas, Keysher Fuller, Dylan Tejeda, Dylan Flores, Deyver Vega, Joshua Mungvia, Ulises Segura.
Ottawa Defeats Floridians FC 2-1
The NASL's Ottawa Fury FC faced Floridians FC in their fifth and final preseason match Saturday evening with temperatures just shy of 30 degrees at kickoff.
An early goal from Canadian Carl Haworth and a late game-winner from Brazilian Vini Dantas powered Ottawa past Floridians FC - a team owned by the brother of former Chelsea star Nicolas Anelka. Fury FC closed out their first-ever preseason undefeated with a 3-0-2 record outscoring the opposition 11-5.
"This was a heavy week for us and I am very pleased with our performance this today against a very competitive opponent," said Fury FC Head Coach Marc Dos Santos. "We create a lot of chances and opportunities and every substitution we made brought something to our team. The players are confident. I am confident. And now the season starts for us on Monday."
It was the visitors the produced the first early opportunity, but goalkeeper Devala Gorrick made a good early save. Ottawa would quickly counter with forward Tom Heinemann producing the first goal opportunity breaking through the Floridians defence only to have his shot deflected wide. The Fury's ability to find space in behind the Floridians defence resulted in several early chances. Carl Haworth intercepted a poor pass between the Floridians defenders and went in on the breakaway to net his first of the preseason in the 8th minute. Immediately off the restart the Floridians won a free kick in the midfield, taking it almost immediately and catching Fury players and goalkeeper Devala Gorrick off guard and tied the game 1-1 in the 9th minute.
Tom Heinemann produced several more scoring chances, but was unable to break the deadlock and was then forced from the game due to injury and was replaced by Philippe Davies. Devala Gorrick would be called upon a couple more times in the first half, but was equal to the challenge to keep the scored tied through the opening 45 minutes.
While no changes were made at halftime, Ottawa had an aggressive start to the second half with Omar Jarun producing the best just as his header went just over the bar off a corner kick from Maykon. Dos Santos would begin to go to his bench and with each substitute the Fury offence added more and more pressure to the Floridians defence. Carl Haworth has two additional chances in the second half before he was subbed. Tony Donatelli would also produce some scoring opportunities, but it was the additions of Hamza Elias and Vini Dantas that connected to lead Ottawa to victory. With some great vision, Elias picked out a streaking Dantas and delivered a perfectly weighted cross into Dantas' pass who was sent in on the breakaway and beat the keeper with a low shot to put Fury FC ahead 2-1 in the 78th minute. The game would end with some heated exchanges in the midfield after a foul on Hamza Elias, but the game would end moments later as Ottawa conclude their preseason with a 3-0-2 record.