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California Victory tie Atlanta Silverbacks, 0-0

June 17, 2007 - USL First Division (USL-1) - California Victory News Release

ATLANTA (June 16, 2007) -- The California Victory came away from Atlanta with another scoreless tie Saturday night, extending its league record to three straight shutouts and four games unbeaten.

The San Francisco-based USL-1 side enjoyed few scoring chances, but did well to scupper a late onslaught by the Atlanta Silverbacks and will be happy picking up the single point on the road.

Both teams played a poor first half, memorable only for its lethargic and sloppy soccer as the heat, humidity and a clogged midfield stunted any chance of a creative attack.

The Victory's only first-half opportunity came in the twelfth minute when Ricardo Sanchez threaded a free kick around the Silverbacks' wall, but his feeble attempt went straight into the goalkeeper's hands.

A minute later Atlanta won the game's first corner, but Rodrigo Rios-Rodriguez couldn't beat the Victory's in-form 'keeper Eric Reed with a header at the near post.

The 'Backs came close in the 26th minute when Rafique Hassim played a long, diagonal ball from the right midfield into the six-yard box toward defender David Hayes, but Victory fullback Luis Aguilar got a slight touch at the far post and cleared the danger.

In the second half the Silverbacks made an attack-minded substitution, bringing on Atlanta native and forward Warren Ukah for a defender.

The change opened up the game somewhat, and in the 48th minute midfielder Hassim beat his defender and found Ukah in an onside position, but the shot was poor leaving Reed to comfortably save.

Atlanta kept pressing and created plenty of chances -- but the Victory, looking for a third-straight league shutout, did well to absorb the home team's pressure.

The Vics again had few chances in the second period, the best being in the 58th minute when Yuri Morales broke free of three defenders in the box before finding Josh Hansen. Hansen then knocked the ball out wide to midfielder Sanchez, who was making a run on the right, but his shot sailed high over the bar.

The game finished with a flurry of activity in the Victory half, beginning with a through ball from the Atlanta midfield that sprung the Victory offside trap and found Scott Buete one-on-one with Reed, but the Victory 'keeper did well to close the angle and block the shot.

And after Ukah fired his shot off the Victory crossbar deep into stoppage time, it became apparent that the game was destined to remain scoreless.

The tie puts the Vics at seven points with a 1-4-4 record, which keeps them in 12th place. Atlanta go 3-4-4 with 13 points (10th place).

The California Victory next plays the Raging Rhinos in Rochester, while the Silverbacks look to avenge this season's defeat to the Battery when they travel to rivals Charleston. Both games are on Friday, June 22, and can be seen live on www.usllive.com.

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