The Atlanta Silverbacks beat the Rochester Raging Rhinos 4-1 tonight at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium. The win takes their record to 7-5-4 and extends the ‘Backs unbeaten streak to four games.
The first half began with conservative play from both sides, but after a few minutes each team settled into play and began creating chances. The Silverbacks did well keeping possession and switching the ball around the field. Rochester had a great chance in the 13th minute when a Rochester forward collected the ball off a rebound and finished it into the net. Unfortunately for Rochester he was in an offside position and the referee called back the goal. The Silverbacks took the lead in the 24th minute when Warren Ukah scored his third consecutive goal for the ‘Backs in USL action (he put away a pair of goals last weekend against the Vancouver Whitecaps). David Hayes sent a cross inside that found Ukah who used his strong build to hold off several Rochester defenders before finishing the ball into the net past Rochester’s goalkeeper Nuno Santos.
The second half began under a light drizzle and the threat of a bigger storm in the distance. Just three minutes into the half Daniel Antoniuk was taken down in the Rochester penalty box and the referee awarded the Silverbacks a penalty kick. Hayes stepped to the spot and gave the ‘Backs the 2-0 lead. Rochester would not let the shutout stand and put away a goal of their own in the 52 minute. Atlanta’s goalkeeper Ryan McIntosh saved an outside shot but a Rochester forward in an onsides position was able to put away the rebound. The Silverbacks refused to let the lead slip any further away and they finished their third goal of the night in the 59 minute. Antoniuk played the ball to a wide-open Rodrigo Rios at the top of the 18-yard-box; Rios settled the ball and calmly placed it past Santos. Atlanta continued to pressure the Rhinos including a shot from Antoniuk in the 66th minute that went off the post. He managed to get in a goal of his own in stoppage time – Rios returned the favor and assisted Antoniuk on the goal. The match ended seconds later with a 4-1 win for the Silverbacks.
The Silverbacks will play again on Tuesday, July 17 in San Francisco, California against the California Victory. The Silverbacks met the expansion side in Atlanta on June 16 when the match ended in a scoreless tie.
Atlanta’s starters: Ryan McIntosh, Justin Moore, David Hayes, Matt Bobo, Martyn Lancaster, Scott Buete, Rodrigo Rios, Tony McManus, Rafique Hassim (John Queeley – 88), Daniel Antoniuk, Warren Ukah (Angel Rivillo - 82).
Goals: Ukah – 24 (Hayes); Hayes – 48 (PK); Rios – 59 (Antoniuk); Antoniuk – 90 (Rios)
Cautions: Lancaster - 53
Rochester’s starters: Nuno Santos, Stephen Shirley-Black (Ray Martinez - 53), Scott Palguta, Chris Aloisi, Kevin Burns, Josh Bolton, Danny Kramer (Kevin Novak – 62), PJ Scheufele (Aaron Wilman – 68), John Ball, Johnny Menyongar, Chad Severs.
Goals: Severs - 52
Cautions: Menyongar - 60
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