June 7th, 2014 (Atlanta, GA)- After losing 2-1 a week ago to Minnesota United FC, the Silverbacks welcomed expansion side Indy Eleven to Silverbacks Park for their second consecutive home match and the final game of the NASL spring season.
It was a quirky opening half of soccer that featured four goals, two penalty kicks, a yellow card, and two of the Silverbacks starters leaving the match due to injury.
Borforr Carr, making his first start of the season for the Silverbacks, drew two penalties in the box. In the 11th minute Carr attempted a maneuver around an Indy defender and popped the ball up in the air drawing a handball. In stoppage time, he was violently shouldered to the ground just inside the top of the 18 after receiving a beautiful pass from Kwadwo Poku. Silverbacks forward Jaime Chavez was able to bury both penalty attempts for the Silverbacks first and third goals of the half.
Two minutes after the Silverbacks scored their first goal, Indy forward and former Silverback, Pedro Mendes, slid a pass to Corby Moore on a 45 degree angle near the top of the box in their offensive end. Moore’s shot was saved by goalkeeper Eric Ati but the rebound was corralled by Mike Ambersley and he evened the score at 1-1.
The Silverbacks took a 2-1 lead in the 14th minute when Chavez wiffed on a cross from Alex Harlley and Pablo Cruz was there clean up the mess.
Other than Indy’s first goal Ati was tested infrequently and eventually left the game with an undisclosed injury making way for Thomas Hunter to make his first professional appearance between the posts.
The penalty kicks continued in the 2nd half and the Silverbacks’ 3-1 halftime lead was cut to 3-2 in the 56th minute when Pablo Cruz was whistled and carded for a foul resulting in a successful penalty attempt from Ambersley for his second goal of the game.
It appeared a fourth penalty shot would be awarded in the 65th when Chavez got behind the defense and was blatantly pulled down from behind by Indy defender Fijero Okiomah. Okiomah was sent off with a red card. The result of the penalty a free kick at the top right of the 18 which Cruz unfortunately clanged off the crossbar.
The fourth penalty shot wasn’t awarded in that instance but it was in the 87th minute when the Silverbacks, up a man, relinquished their lead when Ryan Roushandel pulled Mendes down in the box and former Brazilian international, Kleberson, buried the shot to tie the game at 3.
It was a tough result to swallow as the Silverbacks controlled most of the play and created more of the quality scoring opportunities than Indy.
With the loss, the Silverbacks drop to 3-1-5 on the season and will host MLS side Real Salt Lake in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup next weekend at Silverbacks park. Kickoff is scheduled for 8pm ET.
Alec Campbell, Sports Radio 92.9 The Game
Follow Alec on Twitter @AlecCampbell5