SAN ANTONIO — The Atlanta Silverbacks and the San Antonio Scorpions played to a 2-2 draw at Toyota Field Saturday night.
The Silverbacks started off the game fast with some fluid passing and a lot of possession. It would not take long for them to get on the board as Silverbacks midfielder Danny Barrera found Richie Menjivar in space behind the defense. Menjivar was able to slot it past Scorpions goalkeeper Pat Hannigan for his first goal of the season in the 5th minute.
After the goal, the Scorpions’ play picked up as they started to threaten. Scorpions forward Hans Denissen would equalize minutes later in the 20th minute, cutting in on a corner kick. He was able to flick it past Silverbacks goalkeeper Eric Ati, a Grayson grad, to level the score.
The Scorpions would take the lead minutes later as they broke down the left side. Scorpions midfielder Walter Ramirez crossed and the Silverbacks defense was unable to clear as it fell to Scorpions midfielder Edin Husic, who hit it low past Ati to make the score 2-1 in the 28th minute.
As the game progressed, both teams began to increase their physical play as three yellow cards were issued — two to Ramirez and Pat Phelan of the Scorpions. The Silverbacks would eventually equalize through striker Pedro Mendes. Mendes received the ball from Barrera and was able to curl it past Hannigan to tie the game in the 30th minute.
After the break, the physicality of play continued with both teams going at each other. Yellow cards were issued to Blake Wagner, Nikola Vaslic and Edin Husic of the Scorpions, with Silverbacks midfielder Danny Barrera also receiving one. The teams created some close chances, with the Scorpions seeing the first one after Ati was forced into a low save by Kevin Hamse. The ball fell to Wagner, who missed narrowly wide.
During stoppage time, the Silverbacks would see their best chance and potential game-winner as defender Mark Bloom received the ball in a one-on-one situation with Hanngian, who would deflect the shot out of bounds. After the play, the Silverbacks had two corner kicks, but could not find the net as the game ended in a 2-2 draw.
“We came into a tough place to play and had to fight hard to get a point,” Atlanta coach Brian Haynes said. “My goal is to bring in new players and I can’t fault their heart and I am very proud of the boys tonight.”
The Silverbacks will continue their road trip next weekend, visiting FC Edmonton on Sunday at 4 p.m. at Clarke Stadium. The game can be seen live online at atlantasilverbacksfc.com. For those who would like to catch the game with other Silverbacks fans, the club will be hosting a watch party at the Elder Tree Public House in East Atlanta Village. For more information on the Elder Tree, visit eldertreeatl.com.