In 2014, the Atlanta Silverbacks hosted Real Salt Lake of MLS in the Fourth Round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup on June 14. The teams had a tense match in 2013’s competition that saw RSL win at home 3-2 in extra time. 5000 fans packed into Silverbacks Park for the highly anticipated match.
RSL opened the scoring in the 10th minute on an awful mistake by Silverbacks goalkeeper Derby Carrillo. A long ball over the top lured Carrillo out of him box, but he whiffed on a volley attempt. Robbie Findley walked the ball into the open goal to make the score 1-0.
The Silverbacks leveled the score in the 33rd minute. Pablo Cruz laid the ball off for Junior Burgos. Burgos cut inside and slipped a pass to Kwadwo Poku, who gave it right back to him. Burgos ripped a curling left footed shot that evaded Jeff Attinella and went in off the post.
Jaime Chavez nearly put Atlanta into the lead 5 minutes later, but Attinella made a huge diving save on his header. The Silverbacks kept the pressure on to open the second half, and Chavez was again denied by Attinella in the 59th minute. Alex Harlley’s header from a corner was headed off the line by John Stertzer in the 73rd minute.
With Atlanta taking the game to Salt Lake throughout the second half, a winner was fully deserved. It was Kwadwo Poku who eventually scored it, ripping a low right footed shot in stoppage time past Attinella to the far post from about 20 yards out.
It was one of the biggest wins in Silverbacks professional history and one of the more dramatic games I’ve ever seen live. The Open Cup run continued with a wild win in Colorado over the Rapids before losing in the Quarterfinals to the Chicago Fire.
Were you there? What were your memories of the match? Let us know in the comments or write your own FanPost.