The Atlanta Silverbacks beat the league-leading Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0 tonight at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium. Atlanta-native Warren Ukah finished both goals for the Silverbacks, his first two goals in the USL regular season.
“[Rodrigo] Rios and Daniel [Antoniuk] gave me two good balls; I was able to easily tap them in and convert the goals. It felt good to score and I’m going to keep going out there and playing hard for my team,” commented Ukah, a Grady High School graduate.
The match began with Vancouver controlling the majority of possession and creating chances. The Silverbacks played smart defense and successfully denied Vancouver’s four first half corner kicks. Atlanta continued to work to get the ball to the offensive end of the field and their efforts were rewarded in the 20th minute when Ukah netted his first goal of the season. From the top of the 18-yard-box, Daniel Antoniuk played the ball to Ukah who headed it down to himself, pulled the trigger and sent the ball past Vancouver’s goalkeeper, Richard Goddard. The Silverbacks carried the momentum after the goal, pressured the Whitecaps, and controlled possession for the remainder of the half. The Whitecaps had some close chances in the final five minutes of play, but the Silverbacks held on to carry their 1-0 lead into halftime.
Vancouver came out in the second half and put serious pressure on Atlanta, but the ‘Backs did all they could to ward off the Whitecaps’ efforts. The Silverbacks had a few chances on counterattacks and Ukah doubled Atlanta’s lead in the 83rd minute. Rodrigo Rios played Ukah the ball at the top of the 18-yard-box; Ukah used his 6’0, 200-pound frame to hold on to the ball, beat his defender, and calmly place the ball into the right side netting. The 2-0 score would stand for the final seven minutes of regulation giving the Silverbacks the shutout over the league’s number-one ranked team.
“I felt it was an outstanding win for us,” commented Head Coach Jason Smith. “We hustled all night long. Our guys supported each other all over the field and that made the difference in the game”.
The Atlanta Silverbacks will host Rayados de Monterrey, a Mexican First Division team, on Thursday, July 12th at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium at 7:55 pm. They will resume regular season play again on Saturday, July 14th against the Rochester Raging Rhinos at 7:55 pm at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium. For ticket information call 404-969-4900 or visit www.atlantasilverbacks.com.
Atlanta’s starters: Ryan McIntosh, Justin Moore, David Hayes, Matt Bobo, Martyn Lancaster, Scott Buete, Rodrigo Rios, Tony McManus, Rafique Hassim (Angel Rivillo - 90), Daniel Antoniuk (John Queeley – 80), Warren Ukah (Corey Woolfolk – 86).
Cautions: Rafique Hassim - 89
Goals: Ukah – 20 (Antoniuk); Ukah – 83 (Rios)
Vancouver’s starters: Richard Goddard, Steve Kindel, Geordie Lyall (Lyle Martin – 79), Adrian Cann (Dave Morris – 77), Steve Klein, Tony Donatelli, Jeff Clarke, Martin Nash (Jay Alberts – 79), Alfredo Valente (Joel Bailey – 61), Joey Gjertsen, David Testo (Jason McLaughlin – 61).
© Atlanta Silverbacks 2007 – All Rights Reserved.