ATLANTA, GA – The Atlanta Silverbacks beat the Charleston Battery tonight by a score of 2-1 in a rivalry matchup between the two clubs, sponsored by Metro PCS.
The intense match saw a total of 21 fouls, five yellow cards, a straight red card, and numerous feuds, as well as many scoring opportunities and great saves from both sides.
(Photo Caption: Silverbacks striker Macoumba Kandji celebrates his goal. Photo courtesy of Elaine Carroll).
Atlanta was without the services of veteran David Hayes, who was serving a suspension for a red card in the 80th minute of last Sunday’s match against the Miami FC Blues. The ‘Backs saw the return of defender Matt Bobo, who donned the captain’s armband and helped to anchor the Atlanta defense after missing the past two games due to injury.
The Battery came out firing, earning four corner kicks in the first seven minutes of the match. Atlanta was able to hold off the attack and counter with several scoring opportunities of their own.
In the 12th minute of the match, Atlanta earned a penalty kick after Stephen Armstrong climbed over two Atlanta strikers in the box after a floating cross from Ansu Toure. Macoumba Kandji put away the penalty kick to log the first score of the game.
Armstrong made amends for the Battery just one minute later; taking a free kick from five yards outside the box, Armstrong sent in a diagonal, bending ball that managed to not touch any players, and skip past Atlanta goalkeeper Felipe Quintero for the equalizer.
The Battery had another great chance to score in the 31st minute when confusion near the Atlanta goal led to a shot from Aaron King that was cleared off the line by Silverback defender Martyn Lancaster.
Atlanta struck again in the 37th minute when Ansu Toure received a perfect ball sent in from the right flank from former DC United member Jerson Monteiro. Toure redirected the ball the side netting to put the Silverbacks back on top.
“I think the confidence rose in our players as the game wore on, and we saw better soccer played,” noted Atlanta head coach Jason Smith. “The secret to tonight’s success was that we worked harder off the ball than in previous games.”
The offensive onslaught for both teams continued late into the first half, when a wide open Randi Patterson sent in a laser shot from the top of the box that required a leaping save from Quintero.
The second half saw the pace of the match slow considerably until the 64th minute, when the Battery earned a penalty kick after an Atlanta foul in the box. The kick was taken by Battery midfielder Osvaldo Alsonso, who fired a shot to the lower right area of the goal. Quintero guessed correctly and made a diving save to protect the Atlanta lead.
Atlanta suffered a severe blow in the 72nd minute of the match when Toure took down Armstrong at midfield. Toure was issued a straight red card and the Silverbacks would play the rest of the game with 10 men.
The Battery added forwards Darren Spicer and Lester More to help try to tally the tying goal, though Atlanta countered with good pressure and scoring opportunities from Jason McLaughlin and Kandji.
Charleston had another great chance to equalize in the 80th minute when Patterson was fed a perfect ball at the penalty spot, where he turned and shot a hard ball directly into the hands of Quintero. The stop preserved the lead and the win for the 'Backs.
The Silverbacks will next travel to New York for a fixture against the Rochester Raging Rhinos on Sunday, August 3rd. This marks the second match of a week that includes four games for Atlanta. The ‘Backs will then return home Tuesday, August 5th for a game against the Vancouver Whitecaps and finish the week with another home match against the Miami FC Blues on Friday, August 8th.
For tickets or more information, please call 1-866-GO-BACKS or visit www.atlantasilverbacks.com.
Around the League:
Seattle Sounders 2, Puerto Rico Islanders 1
Vancouver Whitecaps 3, Carolina RailHawks 2
Atlanta Starters: Felipe Quintero, Justin Moore, Matt Bobo, Josh Bolton, Martyn Lancaster, Scott Buete, Jason McLaughlin, Tony McManus, Ansu Toure, Jerson Monteiro, Macoumba Kandji.
Substitutions: Zach Kirby for Matt Bobo (63), Greg Chevalier for Jerson Monteiro (77), Rodrigo Rios for Macoumba Kandji (85), Blake Camp for Jason McLaughlin (90+)
Goals: Macoumba Kandji – 12 (Penalty), Ansu Toure – 39 (Jerson Monteiro)
Cautions: Martyn Lancaster – 55, Zach Kirby – 65, Felipe Quintero – 87
Ejections: Ansu Toure (72)
Charleston Starters: Dusty Hudock, Nelson Akwari, Tim Velten, Marco Reda, Chris Corcoran, Osvaldo Alonso, Chris Williams, Ian Fuller, Stephen Armstrong, Aaron King, Randi Patterson
Substitutions: David Kenga for Chris Corcoran (75), Darren Spicer for Aaron King (76), Lester More for Chris Williams (83)
Goals: Stephen Armstrong – 13
Cautions: Randi Patterson – 39, Marco Reda – 55
Weather: Sunny, Clear
Referees: Chris Penso, Mark Cleland, JJ Blodgett, Brian Miller