Silverbacks suffer hard home loss

Photo by Michael Buckelew

Photo by Michael Buckelew

ATLANTA -- Another game that looked like at least a draw and a point for the Silverbacks, another game that ended in a 2-1 loss on a late goal.

Tyler Ruthven was called for a foul in the box in the 87th minute, leading to a goal by Fort Lauderdale's Eduardo Coudet on the ensuing penalty kick that sent the Strikers home with a win.

The Silverbacks (0-3-0, 0 points) thought they had gone ahead 2-1 on a cross from Mario Perez that was headed in by Emsad Zahirovic in the 78th minute, but the referee whistled the play offside and disallowed the goal.

Zahirovic thought the goal was good.

"I was onside, definitely," Zahirovic said. He claimed that he raised his hand to signal Mario Perez to pass him the ball. "When he sent it, I saw two guys with white shirts and I was going through them."

Martin Nunez drew first blood for Fort Lauderdale (1-1-1, 4 points). In the 14th minute, Nunez, who terrorized the Atlanta defense all night, took a pass from Martin Wheeler in the box. Nunez chipped a shot over the head of drawn-out goalkeeper Felipe Quintero for a 1-0 lead.

Perez equalized for Atlanta less than two minutes later. He grabbed a pass a few yards outside the 18-yard box and put a hard shot past goalkeeper Nick Platter into the side netting to even the game.

Atlanta coach Jose Manuel Abundis said the offense's possession was good, but the end product wasn't quality enough for a win. The Silverbacks outshot the Strikers 17-8 but couldn't put enough into the net.

"We think we have the possession," Abundis said through a translator. "We were always in control of the game. We created a lot of chances, but we didn't score. That's where we're needing to score a couple of goals."