ATLANTA, GA – In a battle that featured the league’s top goal scorers in Miami’s Alex Afonso and Atlanta’s Macoumba Kandji, both teams would be held scoreless in a 0-0 tie.
The Silverbacks had previously fallen to the Blues 0-1 and 0-3 in a U.S. Open Cup match and a regular season game.
Atlanta had a great chance in the 26th minute when Jerson Monteiro nearly headed in a ball off a David Hayes free kick. Miami goalkeeper Josh Saunders was forced to make a leaping save to his right, deflecting the ball out of bounds to prevent a sure goal and keep the score level.
(Photo Caption: Atlanta midfielder Scott Buete helped preserve the Atlanta shutout to extend the team to a four-game unbeaten streak. Photo by Elaine Carroll.)
The Silverbacks nearly put one on the scoreboard in the 42nd minute. David Hayes beat several defenders in the box on the left flank, then skimmed the ball across the face of the goal, inches wide of putting Atlanta on top.
The teams would enter halftime tied at 0-0.
The first scoring threat of the second half did not come until the 76th minute of the match, when Miami defender Walter Ramirez beat several Atlanta defenders on the right flank and nearly found a wide open Connally Edozien in front of the net. The ball skipped past Edozien’s outstretched leg and was cleared to safety by the Silverbacks.
The Silverbacks nearly responded in the 82nd minute in a give-and-go between Tony McManus and Chris Mahaffey. McManus broke away in a dead sprint to goal, but Saunders was in position to stop the powerful shot.
Both teams would ultimately be unable to put away a goal, and the teams would end up with a draw. The 0-0 score marks the first match this year that neither Atlanta nor its opponent has scored a goal in the game.
The shutout is also a positive sign for the Silverback defense. The last shutout posted by Atlanta came against the Carolina RailHawks on May 31st.
The Silverbacks will next travel to Canada for a Sunday fixture against the Vancouver Whitecaps on August 10th. Atlanta defeated the Whitecaps in an exciting 3-2 match at home this past Tuesday.
Around the League:
Montreal Impact 2, Carolina RailHawks 0
Rochester Rhinos 0, Puerto Rico Islanders 4
Game Summary: (Miami FC Blues vs. Atlanta Silverbacks, August 8th, 2008)
No goals scored
Atlanta Starters: Felipe Quintero, Justin Moore, David Hayes, Josh Bolton, Martyn Lancaster, Scott Buete, Jason McLaughlin, Tony McManus, Ansu Toure, Jerson Monteiro, Macoumba Kandji
Substitutions: Chris Mahaffey for Jerson Monteiro (79), Rodrigo Rios for Ansu Toure (81)
Cautions: Scott Buete – 27
Miami Starters: Josh Saunders, Chris Williams, Cristiano Dias, Avery John, Walter Ramirez, Caue da Mata, Jarryd Goldberg, Eric Vasquez, Sean Fraser, Connally Edozien, Alex Afonso
Substitutions: Bruno Menezes for Jarryd Goldberg (68), Ricardo Cavalcante for Eric Vasquez (72), Willie Sims for Connally Edozien (79), Eric Brunner for Chris Williams (90), Nico Mosquera for Sean Fraser (90+)
Weather: Fair, 82
Referees: Fernando Galvan, Tony Russo, Serdar Ertep, Mark Dreifuss