Atlanta Silverbacks notched a substantial victory at home over visiting Real Salt Lake tonight, winning 2-1 on a stoppage-time goal to progress in the US Open Cup.
Kwadwo Puko scored the winner for the NASL-based home side with a low, driven shot from outside the box that evaded several RSL players, including Jeff Attinella, who had a somewhat difficult night in goal.
Atlanta equalized in the 33rd minute after a series of poor giveaways in Real Salt Lake's half gifted the Silverbacks a clear opportunity; a long shot from Junior Burgos skipped past Jeff Attinella.
Robbie Findley opened the scoring in the 10th minute after he burst past the Atlanta defense and capitalized on a miserable error from goalkeeper Derby Carrillo, who was well outside of his box and whiffed on a clearance. Findley's finish was as simple as could be - he may as well have walked the ball into the net. For his first start of the season, the impact was significant.
John Stertzer was handed only his second start for the club, playing on the side of the diamond opposite Luke Mulholland. Javier Morales was absent from the top of the diamond as well as the bench, presumably getting a rest after playing much of the season leading to this point.
Carlos Salcedo and Aaron Maund, certainly not Real Salt Lake's preferred pairing, were together at the back, but with Tony Beltran and Chris Wingert on either flank, veteran presences weren't far from play.
Robbie Findley was handed his first start of the season, and his early goal was an example of his potential impact.