Yet another wet night out in Palm Beach Gardens, but the weather wasn’t going to hold back Palm Beach United. With a week’s worth of preparation, PBU came out to win, especially being at home and coming off a great win versus Miami United.
Playing Miami FC, a team with great experience and talent, has given PBU something to prove.
Palm Beach’s goal was to compete, come out and be disciplined offensively and defensively, and with that in mind get three points in front of a home crowd. The game started off just as you would think, high pressure from Miami FC as they were calm and collected on the ball. PBU played with a low block, stayed compact, and looked to force mistakes that they could capitalize on.
Within the first 30 minutes PBU had to make a change at left back due to an injury; Callum Carsley would enter the game as a substitute. The game was going back and forth with chances and luck coming at both ends. However, the game was still scoreless when the halftime whistle blew.
PBU went into the second half with one other change which was the goalkeeper, who pulled his quad muscle and was forced to leave the game.
“Focus on covering space, force them back and out,” said Palm Beach head coach Peter Fuller.
With possession favoring Miami FC, the game was pretty even until the game-winning goal was scored. In the 63rd minute, Miami FC was able to break through the defense in PBU’s defensive third, dragging out the goalkeeper, who missed the ball and got the legs of a Miami FC player. The referee, with no hesitation, pointed right to the spot and awarded a penalty kick.
Don Smart converted the penalty kick, striking the ball to the left of the keeper. Penalties are always tough to swallow, but with a mentally strong group of PBU, they were not going to give up. Pushing forward, moving the ball, and taking the game to Miami FC, they were able to create some chances, but not enough to equalize.
After four minutes of extra time, the game ended in a 1-0 win for Miami FC. Walking off the field with their heads held high and knowing they can compete with the best in this league, PBU was still in high spirits.
Palm Beach United will be taking on the Jacksonville Armada FC at home in Palm Beach Gardens at The Benjamin School on June 9, 2018 at 7:30 pm. Miami FC take on Storm FC in Broward County on May 30, 2018 at 7:30pm. On June 13, PBU will travel to Miami FC to attempt to reclaim the three points that were lost today. That match will take place at Saint Thomas University with a 7:00 pm kickoff.
Contributor: Erik Hort/Palm Beach United
Photo Credit: Erik Hort/Palm Beach United