A sold comeback from the Scorpions fell just short of doing what was required as they rallied from two goals down, scoring twice. But unfortunately for the Scorpions there was a goal between those two which gave Carolina the 3-2 win in Cary on Saturday night.
After a tight start, Carolina started to push back and take advantage in the middle period of the half and they really took full advantage. Former Rangers legend, Nacho Novo sent in a ball that floated in for Neal Hlavaty in the 22nd minute allowing Hlavaty to follow past Daryl Sattler.
The situation got even worse two minutes later as Carolina was able to quickly double their lead after some neat play. Again Novo was a part of the play. After two solid saves from Sattler, the second rebound fell to Novo who was able to get there before Sattler and stab it home in to an empty net.
With ten minutes to play in the first half, the Scorpions were able to pull a goal back going in to the break. A free kick just outside the box allowed the Scorpions the opportunity as Rafael Castillo was able to step up and send it in, which Cesar Elizondo redirected well to make it 2-1 at the break.
The second half was not quite as exciting as the first with only three real chances coming in the half, and two of those came from the spot. The Scorpions were perhaps the stronger side but being a goal down allowed Carolina to do more defending which frustrated the Scorpions.
But with Carolina’s first foray in to the Scorpions half of the field Carolina were able to restore their two goal lead. Novo was taken down in the box which allowed him to dust himself off and take the penalty which his dispatched well, despite Sattler guessing the right way.
But it took just eight minutes for the Scorpions to get back a goal and this one also came from a penalty after Elizondo was brought down trying to gather the ball from Giuseppe Gentile but was brought down allowing Catillo to step up and send Akira Fitzgerald the one day.
From there the Scorpions went absolutely all out having plenty of chances but they just could not take advantage. Their best chance to pull level came with the last kick of the match after Eric Hassli earned the visitors a free kick. That allowed Castillo to step up and put it over the wall but the impressive shot was matched by a great Fitzgerald save to keep it 2-1.