Da Silva was a major influence on the game from the moment he was brought on as a second-half substitute, and with the game into its second minute of stoppage time, Da Silva knifed his was into the penalty area, where he was chopped down by a Concorde defender. Appearing slightly shaken by the challenge, Da Silva nontheless got up and fired the penalty kick low into the left corner of the net.
“He brings quality to the game, very unique,” Chargers coach Peter Mannino said of Da Silva. “In my view he’s a very technical, schemey-type of player, and when you set him in that type of environment where he can run at people, it’s going to set somebody up to score, or he’ll score himself.”
Brought on to play as an attacking midfielder to play behind strikers Wes Sever and T.J. Roehn, Da Silva had a hand in the Chargers' second goal in the 81st minute, drawing a defender with an incisive run before releasing Roehn on the left side of the penalty area. Roehn’s cross found Wes Sever at full stretch for a diving header, which tied the game 2-2.
Despite the energy he brought off the bench, Da Silva was quick to pay tribute to his teammates for providing him opportunities to create chances.
“The whole team worked hard, I just did my part,” Da Silva said. “The group worked together, it was a real team effort.”
Concorde took the lead in the 19th minute, Carlos McCrary being put through to score as the Fire capitalized on a poor Clearwater goal kick. McCrary posed a constant problem for the Chargers defense, also scoring the Fire’s second goal just before halftime.
Roehn had pulled the Chargers even in the 27th minute, but Clearwater played poorly in the final five minutes of the first half, allowing McCrary to restore the Fire’s lead. The Fire also re-took the lead in the 85th minute, McCrary turning provider as the Chargers were unable to deal with a Fire counter-attack.
“We managed poorly the last five minutes of the game,” Mannino said. “When you’re in a hard-fought game and you’re down to the last few minutes, you don’t play in front of your goal, you try to push the game away, but we sat back and gave them that situation for the goal, and then (it was) disappointing even on the third goal. … That was a breakdown.”
With that in mind, the Chargers were happy to add a draw to the 4-1 victory they earned against the AFC Lightning on Saturday night, giving them four points for the weekend.
“It was a great game,” Sever said. “Hopefully the next time we play this team we’ll come away with a win, and the full three points we could have had.”