ATLANTA — Former Silverbacks forward Daniel Antoniuk looked like he was going to be the hero against Atlanta on Saturday. Reinaldo Navia had other plans.
The Chilean headed home a pass from Lucas Paulini in the 87th minute, sending the crowd of 3,261 into a frenzy and tying the game at 1-1 to keep Atlanta (0-0-3, 3 points) unbeaten this season.
“The important thing is to add points,” Silverbacks coach Alex Pineda Chacon said. “The only thing is we played at home and should win. But we got a point away, too, last weekend. So it’s important in a small group of eight teams to not lose.”
Antoniuk, who played for Atlanta in 2007, scored a goal in the 70th minute for Tampa Bay (1-1-2, 5 points) to make the first dent in the scoreboard. Rowdies midfielder Tsuyoshio Yoshitake sent a ball in front of the goal from the right side, and Antoniuk put it home.
“I saw the ball going out wide,” Antoniuk said. “I don’t even remember who actually had the ball. But I started cutting in before he was going to cross it. If you’re moving before the ball gets crossed, you’re in the right spot.”
Central Gwinnett grad Borfor Carr made his first start for the Silverbacks. He put the team in a lot of scoring chances with his speed and nearly scored a goal from the left corner of the box in the 66th minute.
“It took my breath away,” Carr said of the shot. “I thought it was in. (Goalkeeper Jeff Attinella) made a very good save, had to stretch to get it. … I was going for the celebration, so he took one from me.”
Chacon was pleased with Carr’s performance on the left side, giving the Silverbacks a winger who can potentially make big plays with his feet.
“He’s still developing,” Chacon said. “He just played his first game. … Fortunately we have him on the roster. We knew he could change the pace up top and can make the difference with the ball in possession and the ball in space.”
Shane Moroney had Atlanta’s best other chance of the night to put a goal on the board. He stole a pass in Tampa Bay’s backfield in the 39th minute. After a couple of touches to line up, he took an inswinger with the inside of his right foot but missed the frame wide left.By Michael Buckelew (21)