By The Miami FC
The Miami FC culminated its 2019 NPSL regular season with a 4-1 win over Jacksonville
Armada FC U-23 at home. With the victory, Miami clinched the top seed in the Sunshine
The Orange and Blue used the first few minutes of the match to test and stretch Jacksonville's
defense, moving the ball quickly from side to side on offense.
It took just seven minutes for Miami to gain an advantage. After earning a free kick at the edge
of the box, Ariel Martínez hit a well-struck shot that forced a save out of Jacksonville’s
goalkeeper. The goalkeeper wasn’t able to fully steer the ball away, allowing a free Callum
Chapman-Page to bury the ball into the open net for an easy finish.
Jacksonville aimed to retaliate quickly, earning a penalty kick in the 15th minute. But just as he
did against the Florida Soccer Soldiers earlier in the season, Miami goalkeeper Mark Pais came
through on the spot kick, diving to his left and keeping out the shot. Unfortunately, after the
frantic rush to clear the ball away, Eoin Hunter took a shot from long distance that took a
deflection and got past an outstretched Pais.
With the match now tied 1-1, Miami wasted no time reassuming a dominant role in the match,
taking the lead once again in the 20th minute with a brilliantly set-up play. Tomás Granitto
roamed forward from midfield with the ball and headed towards the box before faking as if he
was about to shoot from distance and slipping a pass to the middle to Martínez. Then Martínez
danced around the last defender and pulled the goalkeeper out, then centered a pass to the six-
yard box for Darío Suárez, who slotted home with ease.
In the second half, the inclusion of Miguel González, Mohamed Thiaw, and Dylan Mares
allowed Miami to stay on top and bring even more dynamism to one of the NPSL’s best offenses.
In the 76th minute, Shawn Chin fed Mares the ball while the latter was in stride, allowing Mares
to take a couple of forward touches and aim at goal. Miami’s captain shot across the goalkeeper
from the edge of the box and powered his effort into the bottom left corner of the net to put
Miami up 3-1.
Two minutes later, Suárez cut inside with the ball and tried to find Mares in the middle of the
field. The ball was deflected and bounced towards Thiaw in the box, as Suárez roamed into the
box behind Thiaw. Then Thiaw sensed him and laid it off behind him, and Suárez was able to
net Miami’s fourth and final goal.
The Miami FC hosts Jacksonville Armada FC U-23 once again in the semifinals of the Sunshine
Conference Playoffs on Wednesday, July 10. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 pm at Buccaneer
Field at Barry University.
With a win against Jacksonville, Miami would then host the Sunshine Conference Final at
Buccaneer Field. The opponent would be the winner of the Naples United FC vs. Miami United
Photo Credit: Orovio Photography