(Photo by Ron Holt) In the final game of their inaugural season in the NASL, the Atlanta Silverbacks fell to the MLS-bound Montreal Impact, 4-0, Saturday night at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.
In a game in which the Silverbacks (4-20-4) were missing a number of key players due to injury, the Impact (9-11-8) dominated from the start. Forward Ryan Pore, on loan from the Portland Timbers of MLS, led the Impact attack all night, and he was the one to give them an early lead.
Pore latched onto a pass from former Silverbacks midfielder Amir Lowery and powered a shot into the roof of the net to give his team a 1-0 advantage in the sixth minute. The Impact would double their lead just 12 minutes later when midfielder Sinisa Ubiparipovic fed forward Migual Montaño, who converted a shot from close range.
The Impact, battling for the final NASL playoff spot Saturday night, powered a consistently strong attack in their push for the postseason. In the 30th minute, the visitors made the score 3-0 courtesy of Pore. Ubiparipovic was the provider once again, slipping in a pass to Pore, who tallied his second goal of the game.
The Silverbacks showed some fight in the second half, creating a pair of quality scoring chances, but it was the relentless Impact offense that remained the storyline throughout the game. A handball in the box from Silverbacks defender Tyler Ruthven gave Pore the opportunity for a hat trick from the penalty spot. The forward stepped up and calmly slotted his shot past Silverbacks goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer to give his team a 4-0 lead, which would hold as the final score.
Tonight’s game meant the Impact did what they could to secure a spot in the playoffs, but a win from the NSC Minnesota Stars tonight meant they were edged out of the postseason.