The Georgia Revolution may not be moving on to face one of the best soccer teams in the USA but Tuesday night the fourth-division team from Conyers proved it could play among professional talent.
The Revolution hosted the Atlanta Silverbacks in the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open and fell 1-0 to the squad which calls itself the only professional soccer team in Georgia.
However, throughout the match it looked as if there were two pro teams with the Revolution matching Atlanta every step of the way.
The Revs had just as many shots as the second-division Silverbacks in the first half (four) but missed taking a 2-0 lead by inches.
The first close opportunity came at the 29-minute mark when Kwado Poku's shot went just left of the Silverbacks' goal post.
The match went back and forth throughout most of the rest of the first half until the Revolution broke into Atlanta's penalty box. Clarke Bently dribbled the ball into the 18 for the Revs but was taken down from behind causing the referee to call a penalty and put the ball on the spot.
Poku, the Revolution's penalty taker, stepped up to the ball and delivered a strike to the right side of the net. But it didn't have enough pace on it and Atlanta goalkeeper Joe Nasco pounced on it.
Coming back from half time the Silverbacks were more of a threat in the early going. But Georgia returned to its form of the first half with both teams sharing possession.
Georgia regained possession on the left side of its back third and was looking to transition into its offense.
However a pass out of the back into the middle of the pitch was too soft and found its way directly to the feet of Atlanta's Raphael Cox. Cox then dribbled through the left side beating a Revolution defender one-on-one before blasting the match's lone goal past Zack Shultze 61 minutes in.
The Revolution continued to fight for their chance to meet the Seattle Sounders of the MLS in the tournament's next round but came up just shy.
Poku had one more chance as Yaron Bacher's free kick went across Atlanta's goal within the 6-yard box. The ball sailed just out of Poku's reach in the 75th minute, ending the Georgia Revolution's first appearance in the U.S. Open Cup. The tournament is open to all U.S. Soccer Federation teams pitting all divisions of professional, semi professional and amateur soccer against each other.