Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton FCE scores two goals in 93 seconds in win over Atlanta

FCE scores two goals in 93 seconds in win over Atlanta

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Going into Saturday’s date in Atlanta, FC Edmonton’s offence had fired blanks in five of its last six matches.

But, the Eddies got two second-half goals in the space of 93 seconds, then held on to beat the Silverbacks by a 2-1 count. The win saw FC Edmonton spring off the league basement, ahead of the Silverbacks.

Just after the one-hour mark, Shaun Saiko slipped a pass through the Atlanta back line for substitute Serisay Barthelemy — who turned and slipped the ball past by Silverbacks No. 2 keeper Joe Nasco, playing ahead of the injured Daniel Illyes.

Nasco then gave FCE a gift a minute and a half later, as his clearing attempt came right to the feet of striker Yashir Pinto, who gratefully accepted the chance and stick the ball in the back of the net. For Pinto, a player who has been snakebit through the team’s scoreless streak, it was a relief — in the first half, Pinto had two chances that were both denied by the keeper.

“At some times you need luck to win a game,” said Eddies’ central defender Paul Hamilton, who shined on the back line for the visiting team.

“We got that break right after we got our first goal, and it put us in a great position to win the game.

“The dressing room’s mood is a lot better after this game than it has been,” he said. “Hopefully we will continue to get breaks like this on the road trip (FCE plays in Tampa next week) and it gets us on our way.”

FCE’s Kenny Caceros, right, shields the ball from Atlanta’s Borfor Carr

But the closing minutes were anything but comfortable for the Eddies. Down 2-0, the Silverbacks, winners of two in a row, threw men forward and attacked FC Edmonton’s left side of the defence — with new addition David Proctor coming in as a second-half sub for Fabien Vorbe. But the goal came on attack from the other side; midfielder Paulo Mendes slotted a low ball for Matt Horth in the Edmonton penalty area, and defender Jonathan Joseph-Augustin hacked Horth down from behind. Joseph-Augustin got the red card, and Ciaran O’Brien buried the penalty kick.

But Hamilton won battle after battle late in the game, adding on to an impressive body of work which also included a vital block of a Danny Barrera shot early in the second half.

“The coaches want you playing your best,” said Hamilton. “And when they made their decision (last week), they were pushing me to do better. And I wanted to come back and do whatever I needed to do to help the team.”

FCE was without Ilja Van Leerdam, who has a knee problem, and midfielder Matt Lam and defender Kevin Hatchi were serving suspensions for yellow-card accumulation.

The first half was a tactical stalemate, as FC Edmonton won the majority of the midfield battles but, outside of the Pinto chances, struggled to turn possession into scoring opportunities.

The Silverbacks created little to trouble keeper John Smits outside of a Matt Horth shot that grazed the post.

But, in the second half, the Silverbacks came out with more intent, and Smits was called in to make a fantastic save a minute after the restart. He charged off his line to block a shot from Borfor Carr, who had come streaking down the right side.

And, that save was magnified all the more by Nasco’s error on the other side of the field.

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