The Atlanta Silverbacks Football Club suffered their first defeat of the 2018 NPSL season, falling 3-1 to Asheville City SC Saturday night. A rainy forecast for Saturday gave way to a clear and comfortable evening at Memorial Stadium as the teams kicked off just after 7:00 pm.
During the first half, this newfound rivalry brought about a few minor conflicts and some brusqueness across the pitch as the teams fought to a 1-1 scoreline by halftime. Each team converted a penalty kick to score their goals, respectively. Bruno Andrade of Asheville SC scored the first goal of the night. The Backs answered with a goal by midfielder Aaron Walker; it was his first goal in a Silverbacks uniform.
In the second half, the Backs fell to a series of mistakes, as the Blues’ defense managed to contain the Atlanta attack. Asheville scored two more goals in the second half, ending the match at 3-1. The defeat gives the Silverbacks a 1-0-1 record on the season, while Asheville walks away with their first victory of 2018.
Veteran leadership of the team reflected on which mistakes caused them to lose the match. Center back Abdul Bangura highlighted the minutes that cost them the most.
“Obviously, we’re gravely disappointed with the results last night. Looking back to the game it was all about the first 10 minutes of the first half and the first 10 minutes of the second half. We allowed a soft goal and we were making mental mistakes all over the place to allow two goals in the second half. We must continue to work to progress and become a better team.”
Team captain and midfielder Sheriff Suma reaffirmed Abdul’s thoughts.
“The little mistakes we made cost us to lose the game. We have the best tools in the league and if we play how we are supposed to play we can beat every team in the league. I believe this week’s practice is going to be different and will raise our game to meet our potential.”
In spite of the loss, forward Nyambi Jabang is looking forward to a rematch against Asheville at home this Saturday.
“Last night was a tough one but that’s part of the game. I think we just had a bad game, we didn’t play well to what we’re capable of and we are much better than the performance that showed last. We have to be ready to compete and play as a team most importantly to reach our team goals moving forward. The game was a great test, and we are looking forward to Saturday. We can’t lose to them twice, so we’ll be ready.”
The ever-loyal Silverbacks fan base had an impressive showing Saturday night in Asheville.
Captain Suma hopes for even more support this Saturday at home.
“We appreciate the fans that came out to support us, and we want them to come out again this Saturday against Asheville to support and shout to the end of the game. We’ll show them we are far better than our performance last night. They’ll feel the true force of the Backs next weekend.”
The Silverbacks will look to reclaim their three points lost this upcoming Saturday as they host the Blues in their NPSL home opener. Kickoff is 7:00 pm.
Contributor: Atlanta Silverbacks FC
Photo Credit: Atlanta Silverbacks FC