(Photo by Ellen McRaney) The Atlanta Silverbacks played to a 1-1 draw against the Tampa Bay Rowdies in front of a crowd of 3,261 Saturday night at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.
Missing several players due to injury and red card suspensions, the Silverbacks withstood constant pressure from the Rowdies attack in the opening stages of the game. The Rowdies appeared to have taken the lead in the 14th minute when forward Tsuyoshi Yoshitake put a ball into the net from eight yards out. The Japanese veteran was whistled for offsides, however, keeping the game scoreless.
After a pair of scoring chances from Rowdies forward Matt Clare, it was the Silverbacks who nearly opened the scoring in the 39th minute. Midfielder Shane Moroney dribbled into the middle and fired a bending shot just wide of the far post.
The home team created another quality chance in the 66th minute when midfielder Borfor Carr, making his first start, forced Rowdies goalkeeper Jeff Attinella into a diving save to his left.
The Rowdies would take the lead shortly after, though. Just minutes after being substituted into the game, former Silverbacks forward Daniel Antoniuk came back to haunt his old team, converting a pass from Yoshitake to give the Rowdies a 1-0 lead in the 70th minute.
The Silverbacks added offensive reinforcements in midfielder Danilo Turcios and forward David Santamaria, but it was forward Reinaldo Navia who found the equalizer. In the 87th minute, a ball over the top from midfielder Lucas Paulini was converted by Navia, who snuck a header past Attinella to send the home crowd into a frenzy.
It was the Chilean forward’s third goal in the last two games, and it earned the Silverbacks a dramatic 1-1 draw, which was their third in a row to start the season.
The Silverbacks will remain in Atlanta to host Minnesota Stars FC next Saturday, April 28 at Atlanta Silverbacks Park. For tickets, visit atlantasilverbacks.com or call 404-969-4900.
Atlanta Silverbacks Starting XI: Daniel Illyes-GK, Patrick Robertson–D, Jordan Davis–D (Danilo Turcios 77’), Martyn Lancaster–D, Raphael Cox–D, Lucas Paulini–M (Fernando Gonzalez 90’), Borfor Carr–D, Shane Moroney–M, Tony McManus–M, Ciaran O’Brien–M (David Santamaria 67’), Reinaldo Navia–F
Tampa Bay Rowdies Starting XI: Jeff Attinella-GK, Frankie Sanfilippo-D, J.P. Rodrigues-D, Andres Arango-D, Takuya Yamada-D, Stuart Campbell-M (Daniel Scott 74’), Keith Savage-M, Luke Mulholland-M (Daniel O’Brien 88’), Matt Clare-F (Daniel Antoniuk 67’), Mike Ambersley-F, Tsuyoshi Yoshitake-F
Stats: Shots (ATL 6, TAM 11), Fouls (ATL 16, TAM 13), Saves (ATL 5, TAM 2), Corners (ATL 4, TAM 3)