(Photo by Ellen McRaney) The Atlanta Silverbacks came up short against the Carolina RailHawks Saturday night, losing 2-0 in front of 6,000 fans at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.
In front of the largest home crowd of the season, the Silverbacks got off to a bright start, with Honduran midfielder Danilo Turcios launching a powerful effort just over the crossbar in the 9th minute. Seven minutes later, Silverbacks defender Jose Burciaga, Jr. nearly put the home team on top, but his point-blank header skied just over the net.
RailHawks midfielder Breiner Ortiz had an opportunity to put the visitors ahead in the 36th minute, but his one-on-one opportunity in front of the net ended with a harmless shot over the crossbar.
After Silverbacks forward Matt Horth nearly converted a left-footed half-volley on one end in the 41st minute, the RailHawks grabbed the game’s opening goal on the other end three minutes later. Turcios was stripped by RailHawks midfielder Austin Da Luz, who fed forward Zack Schilawski for a simple finish that gave the visitors a 1-0 lead.
The Silverbacks came out with a purpose in the second half, though, controlling the tempo and creating several quality scoring chances. In the 78th minute, it looked as if the Silverbacks’ positive play would pay off, but RailHawks goalkeeper Ray Burse made an incredible diving stop to deny Silverbacks forward Borfor Carr.
The game began to open up in the final 10 minutes, and it was midfielder Ty Shipalane that nearly doubled the RailHawks’ advantage in the 82nd minute. This time it was Burse’s opposite number, Silverbacks goalkeeper Daniel Illyes, coming up big to stop a quality scoring chance. The Hungarian goalkeeper dove low to his left to block a wide-open effort from Shipalane.
The visitors didn’t have to wait long to get their second goal, though, as Shipalane again proved to be difficult for the Silverbacks defense to handle. The South African found space on the right side and crossed a ball right to the feet of substitute forward Brian Ackley, who powered it home from close range.
The Silverbacks didn’t go quietly, however, forcing Burse into a pair of diving stops in the final minutes of the game. Defender Martyn Lancaster and forward David Santamaria each directed headers on goal in an attempt to mount a comeback, but Burse was up to the challenge on each occasion, preserving the 2-0 shutout.
Atlanta Silverbacks Starting XI: Daniel Illyes- GK, Martyn Lancaster – D (Captain), Patrick Robertson – D (David Santamaria, 86’), Rilla - D, Jose Burciaga, Jr. - D, Tony McManus - M, Ciaran O’Brien - M, Danilo Turcios – M (Nico Colaluca, 83’), Reinaldo Navia – F, Matt Horth – F (Raphael Cox, 61’), Borfor Carr - F
Carolina RailHawks Starting XI: Ray Burse- GK, Cory Elenio–D, Gale Agbossoumonde - D, Austen King - D, Kupono Low – D, Amir Lowery - M, Breiner Ortiz – M (Chris Nurse, 78’), Nick Zimmerman – M (Mike Palacios, 89’), Ty Shipalane - M, Austin Da Luz - M, Zack Schilawski – F (Brian Ackley, 78’)
Stats:Shots (ATL 12. CAR 14), Fouls (ATL 8. CAR 11), Saves (ATL 5. CAR 3), Corners (ATL 8. CAR 4)