The Atlanta Silverbacks and Carolina RailHawks battled to a 1-1 draw as the hosts held a halftime lead only for Carolina to level after the break having missed a penalty in the first half.
The usually deadly RailHawks striker Brian Shriver saw a ninth minute penalty kick saved by Silverbacks goalkeeper Joe Nasco, bringing the Atlanta crowd to their feet. Later in the half, Silverbacks forward Pedro Mendes took a pass from midfielder Borfor Carr and buried an 18-yard shot past RailHawks goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald to give his team a first-half lead. But the RailHawks fought back and 19 minutes from time, defender Kupono Low headed home a Ty Shipalane corner to take home a point.
It did not take long for things to heat up on a humid summer evening at Atlanta Silverbacks Park. Less than four minutes into the game, the Silverbacks put the ball in the visitors’ net but it was called back for offside.
It was a well-worked play by the home team, with midfielder Horace James nodding the ball across goal for forward Brad Stisser to touch home. Stisser was just behind the RailHawks’ back line, nullifying what would have been his third goal of the season.
The RailHawks had a glorious opportunity to take the lead in the 9th minute when referee Jonathan Weiner pointed to the penalty spot. Nasco was adjudged to have pushed over RailHawks midfielder Cesar Elizondo. Nasco came up big, though, pushing Shriver’s effort away to his left.
After some back-and-forth action, the Silverbacks opened the scoring. Carr fed a low pass to the top of the box, where Mendes pounced on it and fired it past Fitzgerald for a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute.
Midway through the second half, Danny Barrera forced visiting keeper Akira Fitzgerald into a fingertip save to deny the Silverbacks taking the lead, then at the other end Shriver had a great opportunity from 16 yards out, but he skied his finish high and wide.
Low put the decisive touch to a corner to make sure the points were shared. The Silverbacks will head on the road next weekend, visiting FC Edmonton on Sunday, August 18 at Clarke Stadium. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. ET and the game can be seen live online at atlantasilverbacksfc.com.