Miami Sports Day

NASL: The Miami FC Earns 1-1 Draw, Remains in First Place

MIAMI — The Miami FC was back at home on Saturday night, tying Puerto Rico FC 1-1. Vincenzo Rennella scored the lone Miami goal, his team-best fourth of the season.

Puerto Rico would pour on some pressure early in the match, winning a pair of corners within the first three minutes.

Miami weathered the storm with ease and countered in the fifth minute. Midfielder Kwadwo Poku teed up Rennella for a finessed left-footed shot that was pushed out of bounds by Puerto Rico goalkeeper Austin Pack.

Orange and Blue goalkeeper Daniel Vega also did his part, making a great save on an ambitious bicycle kick attempt from Guiseppe Gentile in the 18th minute.

Miami FC’s best offensive attacks of the first half started in the 34th minute, when Jaime Chávez found Calvin Rezende at the top of the 18, who then turned and uncorked a curling shot that bounced off the crossbar.

Miami would immediately find itself with another good chance, as Robert Baggio Kcira chipped a clever cross in front of goal, where Chávez met the ball and slightly headed it over the bar.

Miami and Puerto Rico would head into halftime tied 0-0.

The Orange and Blue would turn the tables and apply the early-half pressure this time around.

In the 48th minute, Mares unleashed a strong shot from distance that deflected off a defender and landed in Rennella’s path. Rennella had a tight angle to make up and his shot at goal hit off the post and went out of bounds.

Just three minutes later, Rennella would make amends for the previous missed opportunity. He tracked down a loose pass from Puerto Rico’s defense, got the ball on his left foot, and guided a low missile past Pack and into the goal to give Miami a 1-0 lead in the 51st minute.

Chávez would be freed on a through ball into the box in the 59th minute, nearly beating Pack at the near post, forcing him into yet another save.

Miami’s fantastic offensive work would be undone in the 65th minute on an opposing set piece. Ramon Soria found himself wide open on a Jordi Quintillà free kick at Vega’s far post where he tapped it in to tie the match at 1-1.

Vega would make another huge save in the 87th minute, stopping a 1v1 chance to keep the score deadlocked.
The final shot came in the 93rd minute when captain Michael Lahoud hit a ball that was saved, keeping the match tied at 1-1.

The Miami FC stays at home for a third round U.S. Open Cup match against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Wednesday, May 31.

The team then heads to Northeast Florida, where they will face Jacksonville Armada FC for the first time this season on Saturday, June 3.

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