The Atlanta Silverbacks lead the San Antonio Scorpions, 1-0, after 45 minutes of play on Saturday night at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.
A 13th-minute strike from Silverbacks forward Ruben Luna - his first of the NASL Fall Season - is the difference in a game that saw plenty of chances fall to both sides.
Midfielder Danny Barrera, back in the lineup after a two-game absence, curled a free kick into the penalty area, with Luna cleaning up from close range following a deflection of Scorpions goalkeeper Pat Hannigan.
Silverbacks goalkeeper Joe Nasco, who was named Co-NASL Player of the Week last week, was forced into a pair of strong saves midway through the first half. Scorpions midfielder Walter Ramirez tested him first from close range, and former Mexican international Javier Saavedra followed, forcing Nasco to smartly tip the ball over the net.
It was a good start to the game for the Silverbacks, who are desperate to shake this recent string of draws. Silverbacks Head Coach Brian Haynes entered the locker room pleased.
"We have a natural goal scorer (in Ruben Luna) and he will take every chance for us," Haynes said. "It is going to be a case of concentration that we need for the second half. All I can ask them to do is to win the second half and win the three points."
Scorpions coach Alen Marcina added: “The guys know their responsibilities and guys have to take account for individual mistakes, because I thought we dominated the half and should be two or three up at the half. Offensively we’ve done a fantastic job, but we have to take our chances.”
Photo: Ellen McRaney