The Miami FC was back in Riccardo Silva Stadium on Saturday night to take on the Indy Eleven. A back and forth match would see the Miami FC score three goals, as the club took down Indy Eleven 3-2. The Orange and Blue now have 14 points and sit three points clear of North Carolina FC for the top spot in the Spring Season Standings.
"When we win, our confidence obviously goes up," said Head Coach Alessandro Nesta. "Now we will take that confidence and turn our focus to the U.S. Open Cup, which is very important to all of us."
It was all Miami FC in the first half and the club was rewarded with a goal just before halftime.
Forward Vincenzo Rennella got things going before a whole minute had been played. He took a touch at the top of the box and fired a great shot that was tipped over the crossbar.
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The 22nd minute saw another fantastic play by Rennella, this time as a passer. He lofted a ball over the top to a streaking Midfielder Kwadwo Poku. Poku was able to get a shot off, but it went straight to the keeper.
Two minutes later, goalkeeper Daniel Vega came up with an amazing save on a powerful shot from inside his own box.
Rennella and Poku would connect again in the 42nd minute, but Poku’s 1v1 opportunity was wiped out by a strong tackle.
The Orange and Blue would finally break through just as the halftime whistle was going to blow. The dangerous Poku/Rennella connection would breakthrough once again. Poku danced around multiple defenders before laying off a great pass into the box. Rennella pounced on the pass and one-timed the ball into the back of the net.
The Miami FC got off to a slow start in the second half.
The 55th minute would see Indy Eleven level the score. A well-hit cross came into the Miami FC box and was met by Hunter Freeman. Unfortunately, Freeman’s header would flash in front of the goal and sneak into the far post for an own goal.
The Orange and Blue would not stay down long, retaking the lead in the 60th minute. Midfielder Dylan Mares started the attack with a great pass to Rennella. The ball would bounce around multiple players' feet before Mares swooped in and smashed it into the back of the net.
Just four minutes later, Midfielder Robert Baggio Kcira would net his second goal of 2017. A Freeman cross would eventually end up at the feet of Kcira, who took a fantastic touch and unleashed a vicious shot that easily beat the keeper, putting Miami up 3-1.
Indy would score a second goal in the 83rd minute. Miscommunication between the defenders and Vega led to an easy finish for Indy’s Justin Braun.
The Miami FC would do well to fend off any more attacks from Indy, holding on for the 3-2 victory and first place in the Spring Season Standings.
The Miami FC returns to the pitch on Wednesday taking on South Florida Surf in a second round U.S. Open Cup matchup. The squad then hits the road for a grudge match with Indy Eleven on Saturday, May 20 at 7:30 p.m. The Orange and Blue is back at home on May 27 to take on Puerto Rico FC for Puerto Rican Heritage Night.