The Atlanta Silverbacks were on a roll after winning two back-to-back games and entered the second round of the U.S Open Cup match facing Charleston Battery. This game was crucial for the Silverbacks to win because they are an underdog team who’s always proving themselves to compete with high division teams. They were looking to advance to the third round of the U.S Open Cup but unfortunately suffered a huge loss.
As the match started, the Silverbacks had possession of the ball but didn’t seize the opportunity to score as many goals as they wanted. The Battery’s defense was hard to break up and they prevented the Silverbacks from scoring any goals in the first half. In the 20th minute Battery defender Forrest Lasso headed a ball from a free kick by his teammate midfielder Ryan Arambula and into the goal passing Silverbacks goalkeeper Thomas Hunter. This lead the away team 1-0. The Silverbacks didn’t let one goal stop them from trying to score goals themselves. Forward Joao Johanning possessed the ball and assisted it to the ring wing Mitch Garcia and Kentaro Takada. Unfortunately, their shots were cleared away by the away team’s goalie.
Silverbacks defender Njie Ebrima received a yellow card for grabbing one of the Battery players on both arms and dragged him down to the ground. South Carolina’s Battery took another lead when midfielder Jeffery Otoo scored a goal when he slotted a shot past Hunter to put his team up 2-0 in the 44th minute. As the game went on, Silverback Garcia received a yellow card for grabbing a player and dragging him down.
As the second half started Atlanta Silverbacks came out in determination to score a goal. The Silverbacks pushed through to slow the playdown and ended up getting a penalty kick in the 71st minute. Alex Harlley stepped up and shot the ball past Battery keeper Odisnel Cooper giving his team a chance to redeem themselves. The game was then at 2-1.
Silverbacks were hungry to try and score another goal to equalize and in the 76th minute Johanning fired a shot but it hit the crossbar of the goalpost. He was seen everywhere on the field to assist his teammates and find opportunities to score. Charleston Battery then slowed down the play and gave the Silverbacks time to try to equalize and send the game into extra time.
In the 79th minute Battery defender, Skylar Thomas received a yellow card, giving the Atlanta Silverbacks a free kick that was cleared. Although the Silverbacks keep pushing through to press for a goal it didn’t seem like fate would be on their side
The Atlanta Silverbacks lost 2-1 and will not remain in the competition to continue their stride in playing in the U.S Open Cup. However, Silverbacks hope to regain their confidence as they travel to New Orleans and hope to beat New Orleans Jesters on Saturday, May 20th at 7:00 p.m. at Pan American Stadium in the regular NPSL competition.