The Silverbacks (3-5-10) were looking for their third straight win against last-place FC Edmonton(4-4-9), but their momentum was stopped after the visitors scored two second-half goals in a span of three minutes.
The game started slowly on a wet and muggy Saturday night at Atlanta Silverbacks Park. Neither side was able to create any meaningful scoring chances early on, but in the 32nd minute, FC Edmonton looked as if they were going to go on top. Forward Yashir Pinto was played in on goal with only Silverbacks goalkeeper Joe Nasco to beat, but the Chilean’s shot was saved well by a diving Nasco, keeping the game scoreless.
The Silverbacks answered Pinto’s effort almost immediately, nearly scoring a goal of their own two minutes later. Forward Matt Horth fired a powerful half-volley towards goal, but John Smitswas there to deny him his fifth goal in his last six games.
After a quiet opening 45 minutes, it became clear just minutes into the second half that final 45 minutes were going to be quite the opposite. In the 47th minute, forward Danny Barrera was denied from close range by FC Edmonton goalkeeper John Smits, and two minutes later, Horth came close with a point-blank header that sailed just over the crossbar.
Against the run of play, FC Edmonton would tally the game’s first goal. Just minutes after entering the game, substitute midfielder Serisay Barthelemy took a pass from midfielder Shaun Saiko and buried a shot into the side netting for a 1-0 lead in the 64th minute.
It then became a two-goal advantage for FC Edmonton just two minutes later when Pinto blocked a low clearance from Nasco and easily slotted the ball into an open net.
The 2-0 deficit didn’t deter the home team, though, as they continued to push forward and put pressure on the FC Edmonton defense. The Silverbacks would be rewarded for their efforts in the 73rd minute when Jonathan Joseph-Augustin hauled down Horth in the penalty area. Horth had a clear goal-scoring opportunity at the time of the foul, and the referee deemed it worthy of a red card.
Horth and substitute midfielder Paulo Mendes each had opportunities late in the game to equalize, but a second goal wasn’t in the cards for the Silverbacks, who fell to 2-0-2 under new interim head coach Eric Wynalda.
Next up for the Silverbacks are the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, who will play host to Wynalda’s team on Friday, July 27 at 7:30 p.m. at Lockhart Stadium. As always, the game can be seen live online at atlantasilverbacks.com/live.
Atlanta Silverbacks Starting XI: Joe Nasco – GK, Martyn Lancaster –D (Captain), Jose Luis Burciaga Jr. – D (44’ – Beto Navarro), Andrew Duran – D, Tony McManus – M, Chris Klute – M, Nico Colaluca – M (67’ – Paulo Mendes), Borfor Carr – M, Ciaran O’Brien – M, Matt Horth – F, Jahbari Willis – F (45‘ – Danny Barrera)