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Edmonton shuts out Atlanta for second time

Photo by Michael Buckelew

Photo by Michael Buckelew

ATLANTA -- FC Edmonton had been outscored 7-0 in league games, 11-0 overall, since a 1-0 win over the Silverbacks on April 16. But in the 69th minute Saturday, its dry spell was over.

After a 10-minute period full of scoring opportunities for Atlanta, FC Edmonton scored two goals in seven minutes on counterattacks to come away with a 2-0 win Saturday.

The Silverbacks (0-4-1, 1 point) had just forced Edmonton goalkeeper Lance Parker to make a couple of reflex saves in the 68th and 69th minutes. But on a counterattack, Shaun Saiko sent a pass to Paul Craig, who took an open shot from the top of the box for a 1-0 lead.

"It's hard right now because it's the same history every game," Atlanta goalkeeper Felipe Quintero said. "We try to score with the good stuff. A little mistake and they score, and that's it."

Matt Horth and Willy Hunt nearly equalized for Atlanta in the next couple of minutes. Edmonton (3-2-0, 9 points) also nearly put the ball in its own net to even the score. But on another counterattack in the 76th minute, Craig passed the ball from the wing to Kyle Porter in the box, who hit a soft deflection past Quintero for a 2-0 Edmonton lead.

"I think we just got the momentum going (in the second half) and then fell asleep for a split second," Horth said. "Maybe a moment of indecision just cost us.

"It happens with a young team. You've just got to keep working through it, and patience and hard work are the most important things at this point."

Both teams were sloppy in the first half. Atlanta managed only two shots in the first 45 minutes, and Edmonton managed just three.

Atlanta started to possess and get downfield better in the second half, especially after Emsad Zahirovic was brought on in the 58th minute. But Edmonton was the team that put two balls in the back of the net, and the Silverbacks were held scoreless for the second time this year.

Defender Shane Moroney was involved in many of the Silverbacks' attacking chances, but the offense just couldn't get a shot past Parker.

They had a couple of fortunate breakthroughs when we had a breakdown on defense," Moroney said. "(Parker) had some great saves. He anticipates really well. I think that's the trick for him."