A goal from forward Pedro Mendes has given the host Atlanta Silverbacks a 1-0 lead against the Tampa Bay Rowdies after the first 45 minutes of play a Atlanta Silverbacks Park on Saturday evening.
The Brazilian Mendes took a pass from El Salvadorean midfielder Richard Menjivar, and buried a shot past Rowdies goalkeeper Diego Restrepo from 20 yards out to give his team an early 1-0 advantage after four minutes of play.
In the ninth minute, the game was stopped for a lightning delay that would end up lasting just over 20 minutes.
After play resumed, the visitors eventually settled down and created a few opportunities through midfielders Keith Savage and Shane Hill.
The Silverbacks kept their foot on the gas pedal, though, and in the 24th minute, they should have doubled their lead. Forward Pablo Cruz dribbled through the Rowdies’ defense, beating a trio of defenders before seeing his shot stopped by Restrepo from point-blank range.
As the half continued, the Rowdies would start to control the possession, but they couldn’t find the net.
“I’m quite pleased with our performance apart from the goal we were a little bit sloppy and we didn’t react quick enough,” said Rowdies coach Ricky Hill at halftime. “Outside of that we are passing fairly well and we are holding most of what Atlanta is throwing at us however we are showing in the large amount of the possession in the half and we are looking for some good quality balls in the final third.”
Silverbacks coach Brian Haynes also commented on the first half play: “Honestly we should be up 3-0. I thought we had two good chances and we didn’t finish them. We finish the half and we should have scored a couple of more goals. I think we have to come out with the same intensity that we did in the first couple of minutes of the half in order to put the game away.”
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|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||12||2||2||8||-14||8|