The Atlanta Silverbacks beat the Charlotte Eagles 1-0 tonight at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium in the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Warren Ukah scored the game-winning goal in the 48th minute in a match between two even teams that could have conceivably gone either way.
Charlotte wasted no time getting forward and their offensive style of play tested the Silverbacks’ defense from the first minute of the game. Jacob Coggins, Charlotte’s leading scorer who has netted 11 goals on the season, had a point-blank shot against Atlanta’s Ryan McIntosh in the 14th minute. McIntosh made a great save and denied the Eagles a likely goal. The fast, physical nature of the match continued through the first 45 minutes with a few good chances for both sides, but neither team scored.
The Silverbacks came out of the locker room and took the momentum immediately, maintaining possession and creating good chances. The Silverbacks broke the scoreless game in the 48th minute when Ukah headed in a corner from Rodrigo Rios. The textbook corner went straight from Rios’ foot to Ukah’s head to the back of the net. The Silverbacks continued to control the game until Omar Jarun was called for a foul in the box. After issuing Jarun a yellow card, the referee awarded Charlotte a penalty kick. Coggins stepped to the spot, but McIntosh made a great save and denied the USL Second Division’s leading scorer the goal from the PK. The save by McIntosh only increased the Silverbacks’ momentum and they continued to pressure the Eagles’ defense. Charlotte threatened to score in the final minutes of the half but Atlanta held on to the win.
The Silverbacks will go on to play FC Dallas of the MLS in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup. The match will be played in Dallas, TX.
The Atlanta Silverbacks will resume their USL First Division regular season play on Friday, June 29 on the road against the Rochester Raging Rhinos. The match will be broadcast live nationally on the Fox Soccer Channel at 8:00 pm.
Atlanta’s starters: Ryan McIntosh, David Hayes, Matt Bobo, Martyn Lancaster, Omar Jarun, Scott Buete, Angel Rivillo (Tony McManus – 45), Rodrigo Rios (Luis Liendo - 79), Rafique Hassim (Dayton O’Brien – 88), Daniel Antoniuk, Warren Ukah (Justin Moore – 87) .
Goals: Ukah – 48 (Rios)
Cautions: Jarun - 60
Charlotte’s starters: Dan Benton, Josh Rife, Nelson Akwari, Aaron Faro (Ben Johnson - 74), Gregg Schroeder, Joe Kabwe (Chris Klotz – 80), Steve Shak, Adam Ruud (Tauras Daka – 67), Dustin Swineheart, Jamal Sutton (Ross Spencer – 70), Jacob Coggins.
Cautions: Kabwe – 49; Shak - 82
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