The Georgia Revolution hosted the Atlanta Silverbacks who made the short trip around I-285 and down I-20 for the opening match of the 2016 NPSL season.
Coming into the match, I pinned the Revolution to be favorites, as they looked very promising in preseason and the Silverbacks failed to impress in their midweek US Open Cup clash. I was proven wrong, however, when the Silverbacks put in a dominant performance and won 3-0.
How it Happened
The Silverbacks deployed a high press early, not letting the Revolution comfortably hold on to any possession. They also were effective in attacking down the flanks and attacking the Revolution fullbacks. The Silverbacks' efforts paid off early when Revolution central defender, Ibrahim Faye, was forced into committing a foul just outside the penalty area in the 17th minute. Mitch Garcia stepped up to take the free kick with his left foot. Garcia went up and over the wall, beat the keeper, and found the side netting on the opposite side to put the Silverbacks up 1-0.
The Silverbacks continued to control the game throughout the first half and managed to limit the Revolution to one dangerous chance when Scott Redding beat a defender on the right side forcing a 1v1 with Silverbacks goalkeeper, Billington, but could not touch the ball around him. With just seconds before the whistle to signal the end of the first half, the Silverbacks doubled their lead. Joao Johanning Mora latched on to a low cross across the box and finished into the top corner, far out of the Revolution keeper's reach.
The second half was similar to the first; the Silverbacks controlled a large majority of possession and chances. In the 63rd minute, the Silverbacks extended their lead to three goals when Pedro Polaz latched onto an errant Revolution pass and found the back of the net. The Silverbacks finished out the match without giving up any threatening Revolution chances on goal.
Georgia Revolution start a two game road trip that begins next week when they face the Carolina RailHawks U-23s on Thursday. They will face Tobacco Road on Friday.
The Atlanta Silverbacks will travel to Tobacco Road FC next Sunday.
NPSL South Atlantic Conference standings after the first weekend of play.