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Miami FC defeated Indy Eleven 3-1 at Riccardo Silva Stadium last Saturday, securing their first win of the NASL Fall season.
Prior to Saturday’s win, Miami FC was on a three-game losing streak in all competitions. The Miami squad lost the first two games of the Fall season, one of them being on the road against the New York Cosmos and the other at home against North Carolina FC. The team also fell short in the quarterfinals of the U.S Open Cup at home to FC Cincinnati.
After a goalless first half, Miami FC finally found the back of the net thanks to Brazilian forward Stéfano Pinho, who headed in a cross from teammate Jaime Chávez in the 47th minute. In the 59th minute, midfielder Dylan Mares doubled Miami’s lead with a superb shot from outside the box. Miami put things to bed when Stéfano Pinho scored his brace in the 69th minute with another powerful header.
Éamon Zayed scored Indy Eleven’s consolation goal in the 87th minute. Zayed’s goal denied Miami FC goalkeeper Daniel Vega his cleansheet.
Even with Miami FC dominating the match with a 59.8 percent possession mark, Indy Eleven still managed to create many chances on goal and left the Miami defense exposed at times. Daniel Vega was awarded Man of the Match, thanks to his six crucial saves in the second half. Vega highlighted what this win meant for the team during Saturday night’s press conference.
“It was an important win because we were coming from three straight losses.” Vega said. “A win brings in more confidence and allows you to train during the week with much more tranquility.”
Miami’s defensive problems can be attributed to injured defenders Roberto Baggio Kcira and Mason Trafford. After Saturday’s match, Miami FC suffered two more setbacks. Forward Stéfano Pinho and midfielder Michael Lahoud were both taken off in the second half due to injuries. Forward Vincenzo Renella, the top goal scorer of the Spring season, was also sidelined due to injury which he suffered during the FC Cincinnati match.
Due to these injuries, Head Coach Nesta and the Miami FC have had to look into the transfer market for players to come in and help the team with its injury woes.
“Maybe next week we will have a new player,” Nesta said during the press conference. “In this moment its not easy. In Europe the season is starting. In the USA it’s difficult, you try and have someone from MLS, but we didn’t find something wow.”
Nesta’s men earned three valuable points that allowed the team to climb the NASL Fall season table. Before Saturday’s match Miami FC sat at the bottom of the table with zero points. After Saturday’s match Miami now sits at 6th place with three points, two points away from league leaders North Carolina.
North Carolina FC will host Miami FC on Tuesday, August 15, 2017. North Carolina is the only team Miami FC has not defeated this season. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Sahlen’s Stadium.