The Silverbacks suffered their second consecutive road loss in a 4-0 defeat to the Carolina Railhawks Saturday night at WakeMed Soccer Park.
As the game began, the Railhawks would see the majority of the chances with midfielder Austen Da Luz firing a shot from long range. The home side would be the first to break the tie, and in the 10th minute after midfielder Horace James was adjudged for handball in the corner, Railhawks midfielder Kenny Walker would send in the free kick.
Walker would find fellow forward Zack Schilawski who was able to redirect it across the face of goal where defender Henry Kalungi nodded it home just out of the reach of Silverbacks goalkeeper Joe Nasco.
The Silverbacks were having real problems in the back, and the home side would add to their lead ten minutes later with Da Luz getting on the end of midfielder Enzo Martinez’s cross and nodding it home in the 20th minute to make it 2-0 in the first half.
Shortly afterward, the visitors would make their first change and head coach Brian Haynes would bring on midfielder Jesus Gonzalez for fellow midfielder Milton Blanco in the 21st minute. A few minutes later, the Railhawks would be forced to make a change of their own with defender Kupono Low and Da Luz both picking up injuries in the 27th minute and head coach Colin Clarke would bring on midfielders Nick Millington and Luciano Delbono.
Towards the end of the half, the Silverbacks would start to play themselves back in the game. In the 35th minute, the visitors would try and pull one back with midfielder Danny Barrera getting a dangerous ball in the box. Barrera would try to find James at the back post, but it would be cleared by the Railhawks backline.
The Silverbacks were not done yet, and in stoppage time just before halftime, midfielder Richie Menjivar received a pass from fellow midfielder Pablo Cruz and drove into space. The El Salvadorian midfielder would fire a shot just outside the 18-yard box, but it would miss the inside of the post narrowly.
After halftime, the home side would pick up right where they left off, and forward Brian Shriver would set up Martinez who’s shot narrowly missed the far post in the 50th minute.
The home side would comeback again through Shriver as he got the ball at the top of the 18- yard box, but again, Nasco was there to deny the forward and keep the Silverbacks alive in the game. The Silverbacks would create another opportunity with forward Pedro Mendes. The Brazilian forward weaved his way into the box finding Barrera, but Barrera could not provide the final ball.
It was a constant theme for the Silverbacks throughout the game, and it would surface again when Cruz’s pass intercepted by Schilawski. The midfielder would play it forward to Railhawks forward Nick Addlery who would beat the defense and Nasco for the home sides third goal of the night in the 66th minute.
The Silverbacks would keep fighting and substitute forward Kellen Gulley would win a free kick just outside the 18-yard box. Barrera would take it and his bending shot would just narrowly miss the near post.
It would be the last major chance for the visitors, and the Railhawks would find one more goal after Delbono was taken down inside the box. Shriver would convert the penalty for the game’s fourth goal.
Despite the score, the Silverbacks will need to prepare themselves for their final home game of the season against the New York Cosmos next weekend who they could see in the Soccer Bowl Championship on November 9th.
Silverbacks XI: GK-Nasco, D Hunt, D Lancaster, D Navarro, M Barrera, M Blanco (21’ Gonzalez), M James (64’ Caceras), M Menjivar, F Cruz, F Luna (64’ Gulley), F Mendes
Railhawks XI: GK Murray, D Graye, D Kalungi, D Hamilton, D Low (27’ Delbono), M Da Luz (27’ Millington), M Schilawski, M Walker, M Martinez, F Shriver, F Addlery (79’ Beckford)