Miami Sports Day

NASL: Miami Grinds Out 2-1 Win Over Spring Season Champs

The Miami FC hosted Indy Eleven on Saturday night, taking three points from the spring season champions with a 2-1 win on goals from Dario Cvitanich and Ariel Martinez.

“The fans were great tonight,” said Head Coach Alessandro Nesta. “Without them it doesn’t make sense to play. We need them here every match.”

The Miami FC started off hot, scoring in the fourth minute on a Cvitanich shot from close range. Jonny Steele took a corner from the right side and found a wide open Rhett Bernstein near the top of the box. Bernstein steered his header near the goal, where Poku chested the ball down to Cvitanich, who finished the impeccable link-up with precision.

A fast start like the one tonight is exactly what the Miami FC needs to continue succeeding as they have been. They haven’t lost yet all season when scoring first, winning three of those games and drawing four.

Wilson Palacios was re-inserted into the starting lineup after a lengthy hiatus. He acclimated himself very well in his deep-lying defensive midfield position. He very often tracked back to thwart counter-attacks from the opposition, most notably in the 22nd minute when he sprinted alongside an Indy Eleven attacker and forced a goal kick at the last possible inch of the field with a slide tackle.

The first half was firmly handled by the Miami FC. They won the possession battle, deployed several build-up plays, and didn’t allow the Indy Eleven to create much of anything on offense.

The second half was a more even affair.

In the 59th minute, Poku hurled himself on a forward run after he perfectly timed a tackle in midfield and recovered the ball. He attempted to unleash Jaime Chavez out in the open field, but the pass was just barely snuffed out.

Martinez came on in the 66th minute as a substitute and quickly invigorated the offense. Just six minutes into his spell, Martinez nearly found Chavez twice on prime goal scoring opportunities.

In the 85th minute, Martinez was freed up on a counter-attack by an outstanding cross-field ball from Blake Smith, who was on as a substitute as well. Martinez latched onto the pass, cut inside near the edge of the box and shot a bullet past the goalkeeper.

The Indy Eleven pulled one back in the 89th minute on an Eamon Zayed goal and pushed hard to equalize, but the Miami FC were determined to come away with a win.

The Miami FC hits the road to take on Minnesota United next Saturday, August 6th. After that, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers come to town in the third edition of the “FL Clásico” on August 13th. For tickets to this local rivarly,

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