The Atlanta Silverbacks advanced into the second round of the 2007 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a decisive 10-0 win over Azzurri FC Tuesday night at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium. The Silverbacks did not let the hour-long lightning delay slow down their rhythm; the team scored two goals before the referee delayed the match in the 17th minute and eight more goals after play resumed. Team captain Rodrigo Rios and forward Warren Ukah each scored a hat trick to lead the Silverbacks’ offensive charge that included five different goal scorers.
“I’m very happy to get an Open Cup win, I think we were fortunate to get up on the team early and get some momentum. I think the biggest difference was the level of fitness of professional players which paid off as the game progressed,” commented Head Coach Jason Smith.
The Silverbacks started their scoring in the 10th minute when Dayton O’Brien ripped a shot from a difficult angle on the left side of the goal. The play began when Rafique Hassim sent the ball in from the right side of the post to Angel Rivillo whose flick deflected off a defender to O’Brien at the far post; O’Brien struck the ball into the top of the net. The Silverbacks doubled their lead just four minutes later with a beautiful technical display. The play began in the midfield and the ‘Backs used multiple give-and-go’s to weave the ball in and out of Azzurri’s defense. Daniel Antoniuk played the ball to an overlapping Rios who drove the bar into the side-netting. Both teams hit the locker rooms in the 17th minute to wait out the lightning. When play resumed, the Silverbacks picked up right where they had left off. Rivillo sent a free kick in to Hassim who headed it into the net for the Silverbacks’ third goal of the night. The Silverbacks’ fourth goal came when O’Brien sent the ball in from the left side to an awaiting Rios who volleyed the ball one time into the back of the net in the 25th minute. Azzurri FC had a good chance in the final moments of the half when Tomiwa Ogunsola hit a shot off the near post. The half ended with the Silverbacks leading 4-0.
The second half began under dry skies with the Silverbacks continuing to open up play and maintain possession. The Silverbacks’ dominant level of fitness and speed of play showed in the second half, but Azzurri was able to slow down Atlanta’s attack with a successful offside trap. The Silverbacks were called for eight offsides in the first 20 minutes of the second half. Atlanta got its fifth goal in the 75th minute with a perfectly placed one-touch shot from Hassim off a cross from Rios. Antoniuk scored in the 80th minute – Azzurri cleared the ball to Rivillo who headed it to Antoniuk; Antoniuk settled the ball and ripped it into the goal. Warren Ukah, who played just 13 minutes in the match, managed to score a hat-trick during a five minute period between the 84th and 88th minutes. His first goal came in the 84th minute when he received a cross from Rios; Ukah beat an Azzurri defender and slipped the ball past the keeper to the far post. His second goal came two minutes later when he received a cross from Rivillo and beat another Azzurri defender, leaving him room to find a glimpse of the net. Ukah rounded out the hat-trick in the 88th minute when he scored off an assist from Antoniuk. The Silverbacks finished their goals with an even ten when Rios earned a hat trick of his own with a goal in the 90th minute off an assist from Rivillo (his third assist of the night).
The Silverbacks will play in the second round on June 26th against either Lynch’s Irish Pub FC or the Charlotte Eagles – their scheduled match from tonight was postponed and will be rescheduled.
Atlanta’s starters: Ryan McIntosh (Felipe Quintero – 17), David Hayes, Matt Bobo, Tony McManus, Omar Jarun (Alvin Hudson – 14) (Justin Moore – 65), Scott Buete, Dayton O’Brien, Angel Rivillo, Rafique Hassim (Warren Ukah – 77), Rodrigo Rios, Daniel Antoniuk.
Goals: O’Brien – 10; Rios – 14 (Antoniuk); Hassim – 19 (Rivillo); Rios – 25 (O’Brien) Hassim – 74 (Rios); Antoniuk – 80 (Rivillo); Ukah – 84 (Rios); Ukah – 86 (Rivillo); Ukah – 88 (Antoniuk); Rios – 90 (Rivillo)
Cautions: Hudson - 40
Azzurri’s starters: Michael Lahoud, Brian Hooten (Jeff Harwell – 57), Greg Mottinger, Adrian Chevannes, Daniel Dobson, Michael Anderson (Esteban Mariel – 62), Greg Martin, Matt Whiteley, Tomiwa Ogunsola (Nathan Neal – 77), Ryan Kneipper, Freddie Garcia (Manuel Mariel – 16).
© Atlanta Silverbacks 2007 – All Rights Reserved.