Miami Sports Day

NASL: Late Goal Lifts Miami FC over Puerto Rico FC 2-1

The Miami FC was in Puerto Rico, Saturday night, to take on Puerto Rico FC. After a slow start in the first half, the Orange and Blue dominated the second half to overcome a one goal deficit and win 2-1.

The Miami FC faced a new challenge in the first half, with a Puerto Rico team that did not sit back, but applied pressure up the field.

As the Orange and Blue slowly worked their way into the match, midfielder Michael Lahoud sparked the club’s first chance of the night in the 21st. He picked out an onrushing Kwadwo Poku far post, but a tackle came in before he could take his shot.

Puerto Rico took the lead just two minutes later, as Emery Welshman finished a chance from inside the six-yard box.
Miami continued to unlock the Puerto Rico high press, but would go into halftime down 1-0.

The second half would see a complete turnaround for the squad, as they dominated possession and mounted an epic comeback.

Forward Jaime Chávez entered the match in the 63rd minute and would make an instant and lasting impact in the match.

Four minutes after he entered the match, forward Vincenzo Rennella played a great ball into Chávez only to see the header flash past the far post.

Super-sub midfielder Ariel Martínez hit a dipping long range shot in the 71st minute that was barley pushed over the crossbar, preserving the Puerto Rico lead for the time being.

The Miami FC finally broke through in the 81st minute, thanks to excellent teamwork. Martínez pushed a through ball to Chávez down the right side of the box. Chávez one-timed the pass at goal, seeing the shot parried back into the box. Rennella was patiently waiting in perfect position and finished the chance for the equalizer.

As the clock hit 90, three minutes of end-to-end action would ensue.

The Miami FC would throw numbers forward, in an effort to get a match-winner, and nearly paid for it early into extra time. Puerto Rico sprung a counter-attack that ended in a close-range shot pinging off the crossbar.

The Orange and Blue mounted one final attack and would hit pay dirt with the final touch of the match.

A Poku run started the action, as he got the ball at the touchline and sent it back into the box. Martínez got under the ball and volleyed it towards goal. The dipping shot would take a deflection off Chávez and trickle into the back of the net to hand the Miami FC the victory.

With the win, the Miami FC now has 11 points and sits atop the Spring Season Standings.

The Miami FC returns to Riccardo Silva Stadium to host Indy Eleven on Saturday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m.

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