A defensive stalemate in the first half between Indy Eleven and the San Antonio Scorpions gave way to a back-and-forth second half that saw three goals, including a game-winning tally by Scorpions midfielder Walter Restrepo in the dying moments to push ahead 2-1 in front of a sold out crowd of 10,285 at Michael A. Carroll Stadium.
San Antonio had a chance to open scoring for the match in the 14th minute. A drive down the right side of the box resulted in an end line cross right into the hands of Indy Eleven goalkeeper Kristian Nicht. The cross bounced off Nicht’s hands and landed at the feet of defender Erick Norales, who cleared out the first major scoring attempt of the match.
San Antonio came knocking a second time in the 17th minute as forward Billy Forbes placed a rolling cross right in front of the face of the goal, Indy Eleven defender Kyle Hyland met the pass and cleared it high over the net for a Scorpions corner.
Determined to bust down the door, the ensuing corner for San Antonio resulted in shot on goal but Nicht was there to push it wide of the net and out for another corner. Strong defense on the following corner helped sent the ball out of play off of San Antonio.
Indy received their first opportunity of the match to light up the scoreboard. A corner kick in the 32nd minute of the match was met by the head of Norales, who set it sailing high over the cross bar and out of play.
San Antonio finally lit up the scoreboard coming out of the locker room from halftime. In the 52nd minute, a rolling cross from Restrepo was teed up right at the top of the box by forward Billy Forbes, who sent the ball sailing past a diving Nicht to set the score at 1-0 for the visitors.
Indy Eleven answered the need for an equalizer in the 74th minute, when substitute midfielder Don Smart sent an early cross from the right that found a trailing Blake Smith. Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup hat trick hero settled calmly, cut inside and sent a shot inside the far right post that leveled the score at 1-1. The goal was Smith’s first goal in NASL play for the Eleven.
In the dying moments of the match, a Scorpions drive down the right side of the box set up a shot through the middle. A fantastic stretching save by Nicht looked like it would help keep things even, but the deflection out to Restrepo left the net vulnerable, and the Scorpions midfielder fired home the game-winner in the fourth minute of as much stoppage time.
While Indy Eleven wound down its Spring Season without a win at home, the squad did welcome its fifth capacity crowd in as many contests at its home of Michael A. Carroll Stadium. Indy Eleven will round out its 2014 NASL Spring Season on the road next Saturday, June 7, with a match up against the Atlanta Silverbacks. Kickoff time at Atlanta Silverbacks Park is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
(Story from Indy Eleven.)