The Atlanta Silverbacks topped the Charleston Battery, 1-0, Saturday afternoon at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.
An early goal from midfielder Lucas Paulini gave the Silverbacks just enough to beat their old USSF division-three USL Pro rivals.
The Silverbacks started strongly, creating their first scoring chance in the opening minutes. Forward Matt Horth, who tallied a pair of goals in the preseason opener against UAB, had a point-blank header saved off the goal line in the 6th minute.
Four minutes later, it was Horth again heading the ball towards goal, but his effort fell inches wide. The Silverbacks would take the lead shortly after, though, with Paulini putting the Silverbacks on top. Midfielder Ciaran O’Brien’s free kick from the right side found the head of Paulini, who powered the ball home from seven yards out.
The game was quieter following the opening goal, with Silverbacks midfielder Raphael Cox creating the only clear-cut scoring chance in the latter part of the first half.
In the 67th minute, Cox and a Battery player were shown red cards following an incident away from the ball. After a series of substitutions by both sides, the Silverbacks had an excellent opportunity to double their lead.
Trialist Borfor Carr drew a penalty kick after being pulled down just a few yards from goal. Forward David Santamaria stepped up to the spot, but his kick sailed over the net, keeping the score 1-0.
The Silverbacks maintained their strong defense in the closing minutes, earning a 1-0 win in front of an enthusiastic home crowd.