The Atlanta Silverbacks and Fort Lauderdale Strikers played to a 1-1 draw Saturday night at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
A goal from Silverbacks forward and league-leading goal scorer Reinaldo Navia in the 69th minute cancelled out Strikers forward Mark Anderson’s strike from earlier in the second half, earning the Silverbacks an important point away from home.
The game started slowly on a hot Saturday night at Lockhart Stadium, but the Strikers began to assert themselves offensively midway through the first half. Anderson and fellow forward Hosman Ramos each saw shots come close to beating Silverbacks goalkeeper Daniel Illyes, but their efforts failed to hit the target.
The second half featured much more action, and just four minutes in, Anderson scored the game’s opening goal. A deflected cross found the feet of Anderson at the top of the penalty area, and the rookie forward blasted a shot off the crossbar and past Illyes to give his team a 1-0 lead.
The Silverbacks responded well to the Strikers’ goal, controlling possession and testing Strikers goalkeeper Matt Glaeser. The visitors’ offensive pressure finally paid off in the 69th minute when forward Reinaldo Navia brought the score level at 1-1. The Chilean received a through ball from midfielder Ciaran O’Brien, and buried a shot past Glaeser to tie the game for the Silverbacks.
The game took another turn in the Silverbacks’ favor in the 73rd minute when Strikers defender Toni Stahl was sent off for receiving his second yellow card. Although they continued to control the second half, the Silverbacks couldn’t take advantage of the Strikers’ red card and were forced to accept a 1-1 draw.
The Silverbacks continue their road trip on Wednesday night when they visit MLS club Seattle Sounders FC at Starfire Sports Complex for a third-round U.S. Open Cup matchup. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. local time (10 p.m. ET). Following the cup game, the Silverbacks will continue their league schedule by visiting FC Edmonton on Sunday, June 3 at Clarke Stadium.