The Atlanta Silverbacks played their first match at home of the season on Saturday, June 4th hosting the Myrtle Beach Mutiny.
It was an interesting and certainly entertaining match to say the least. The game started off a little slow as both sides were trying to get a feel for each other, build-up play, and get into a rhythm. There wasn’t much attack in the opening half. In the 39th minute, Silverbacks’ center-back Georgii Kulov, was brought on after an early injury to a teammate. Just minutes later before the end of the half, Myrtle Beach was first to get on the scoreboard from an own goal scored by Kulov of the Silverbacks. Seconds before the first half whistle, the Silverbacks had a great passage of play that ended in a superb finish by striker Gabriel Obalota, but it was waived off by an offside call from the official.
The second half began much differently. Both teams came out of the locker room onto the field with a different mindset and much higher intensity level. The Silverbacks evened the score in the 47th minute with a strike from midfielder Pedro Polaz, assisted by defender Adnan Bangura.
As the second half progressed, the play from both sides improved while also the physicality of the game increased drastically. The Mutiny outshot the Silverbacks 10 to 8; both sides had some great opportunities to notch a few goals on the board. The second half alone included three yellow cards and a sending off of Obatola in the 67th minute after a scuffle between the two sides that escalated a bit. After this the game continually included physical play, rough tackles, and plenty of fouls.
The Mutiny were able to regain the lead in the 83rd minute from a goal scored by Aksel Juul assisted by Garret Bridgewater. The Silverbacks spent the final ten minutes of the match throwing everything they had at the Mutiny’s defense with the hopes of an equalizer late in the match. The Silverbacks made two substitutions in an attempt to get more offensive production by adding strikers into the game. The final minutes included some Silverback attacks and stout defense from Myrtle Beach and after four minutes of the stoppage time, the final whistle blew with a final score of 2-1.