Match Recap: Strikers 1, Silverbacks 1
Match: Fort Lauderdale Strikers (FTL) v. Atlanta Silverbacks (ATL)
Competition: NASL Fall Season- Match 7
Venue: Lockhart Stadium; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Strikers Come From Behind to Extend Unbeaten Streak
Fafà Picault's team-leading seventh goal of the year gives Strikers draw vs. Atlanta
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Saturday, August 16, 2014) – The Strikers came from a goal behind to draw the Atlanta Silverbacks 1-1 Saturday night at Lockhart Stadium. Fafà Picault’s seventh goal of the year canceled out Jaime Chavez’ opener as the Strikers extended their unbeaten streak to five games.
The Strikers managed 21 shots on the night, but a stellar performance by Silverbacks goalkeeper Eric Ati helped his side earn a vital point on the road. Ati finished with 12 saves on the night.
The match didn’t start as planned for the Strikers, who were beaten on a swift Silverbacks’ counter attack in the seventh minute. A long ball from Junior Burgos found Jaime Chavez in space who poked the ball past Kamil Contofalsky to open the scoring.
Fort Lauderdale went on the attack and pushed for an equalizer with Martin Nuñez and Fafà Picault forcing Eric Ati into two quality first-half saves.
Atlanta responded with chances of their own in attempt to double their lead. Chavez went close with a header onto the roof of the net. Minutes later, Contofalsky was called into action to deny a long-range strike from Ryan Roushandel and a free kick from Burgos.
The Strikers came out after the halftime interval looking to score early but were denied by two more brilliant saves by Ati. The goalkeeper first parried wide a close-range effort from Nuñez before keeping out a powerful header from Rafael Alves on the ensuing corner kick.
Fort Lauderdale kept pushing for a goal and found the equalizer in the 62nd minute of the match. Nuñez beat his man on the left and squared a low ball across the goal for Picault to score his seventh goal of the year, tying the game at 1-1.
There was nothing Ati could do on the goal, but the Atlanta keeper continued to produce saves as Fort Lauderdale searched for the winning goal.
A great chance came with just ten minutes remaining as substitute Aly Alberto Hassan was put through on goal by Picault. Ati got the better of the one-on-one chance, getting a piece of the ball and deflecting it wide for a corner kick.
The Strikers had a late penalty shout fall on deaf ears in the 86th minute when Picault looked to have been brought down inside the box. There was more late drama when substitute Walter Ramirez was shown a straight red card in the final minute of the match.
ATL- Jaime Chavez (Junior Burgos)- 7th minute
FTL- Fafà Picault 7 (Martin Nuñez 1)- 62’
Fort Lauderdale Strikers (4-4-2) – Kamil Contofalsky; Darnell King, Rafael Alves, James Marcelin, Ivan Guerrero (C); Mark Anderson, Manny Gonzalez (Walter Ramirez, 72), Shawn Chin, Martin Nuñez; Fafà Picault, Jenison Brito (Aly Alberto Hassan, 59)
Subs not used: David Meves, Chris Nurse, Pecka, Ronaldo Vieira, Darryl Gordon
Atlanta Silverbacks – Eric Ati; Lucas Paulini, Edgar Espinoza (Ramiro Canovas, 73), Ryan Roushandel, Mike Randolph (C); Junior Burgos (Janny Rivera, 82), Blair Gavin, Pablo Cruz, Alex Harlley (Jesus Gonzalez, 64); Kwadwo Poku, Jaime Chavez
Subs not used: Thomas Hunter, Kellen Gulley
ATL- Edgar Espinoza (caution)- 6th minute
FTL- Darnell King (caution)- 45'
FTL- Walter Ramirez (ejection)- 90'
ATL- Pable Cruz (caution)- 90'+1
Referee: Daniel Fitzgerald; Assistants: Mark Cahen, Brian Poeschel; Fourth Official: Stefan McHardy