Scorpions step up in second half to capture Soccer Bowl

[NASL] The San Antonio Scorpions won the NASL championship for the first time, beating the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, 2-1, on a brilliant bicycle kick by Colombian Rafael Castillo in the 70th minute and a breakaway strike by Turks & Caicos international Billy Forbes five minutes later.

Photo courtesy of NASL

The game turned in the 62nd minute when Martin Nunez hit the crossbar on a penalty kick with a chance to put the Strikers ahead. Earlier, Aly Alberto Hassan saw his effort beat Scorpions keeper Josh Saunders only to bounce wide of the left post. All the Strikers could eventually get was a goal from Walter Ramirez, finishing off a one-two with Mark Anderson with 11 minutes to play.

NASL Champions:
2011: Minnesota
2012: Tampa Bay
2013: New York
2014: San Antonio

"It was clear that their game plan was to shut out Rafa [Castillo]," said Scorpions coach Alen Marcina. "We told him that he'd have to find the gaps between their two holding mids and their center backs and in the second half you could see he was pushing up and trying to find those seems.  And guys like Billy [Forbes] and [Walter] Restrepo got their games going as well and sure enough, [Billy] scored a beautiful goal and Rafa for me was the goal of the year."

Forbes said he got a wakeup call from Marcina at the break.

"During the first half, coach got on me at halftime for being a little slow, and in the second half I knew I had to step my game up," he said. "Rafa made the pass, I made the run and it was a great goal. I think the PK woke us up a little bit. Once they missed it we knew we had to step it up a notch, and we did that and came out victorious."

Nov. 15 in San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio 2 Ft. Lauderdale 1. Goals: Castillo 70, Forbes 75; Ramirez 79.
San Antonio -- Saunders; Borrajo, Janicki, James, DeRoux; Menjivar, Restrepo (Hassli 84), Soto, Castillo, Forbes; Elizondo (Gentile 73).
Ft. Lauderdale -- Contofalsky; Martin Nunez (Ramirez 73), Antonijevic (Jenison Brito 77), Rafael Alves, Guerrero; Marcelin, Pecka, Chin, Anderson, King; Hassan (Picault 60).
Att.: 7,847.

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