The Miami FC 2 played its third match of the 2018 NPSL season Saturday night, drawing 1-1 with Jacksonville Armada FC in a match between old rivals.
Miami FC 2 forward Vincenzo Rennella, back from injury, dictated the tempo of the match early. He consistently sprayed accurate long balls forward into the path of Miami’s forwards, pushing the Armada’s defense back.
Jacksonville would open the scoring despite Miami topping them offensively through the first 25 minutes, getting the opening goal on a rebound tap-in by Wesley Charpie in the 26th minute.
A flurry of yellow cards enveloped the final 20 minutes of the second half, with both teams contributing strong tackles in what has become a fierce rivalry.
The first half ended 1-0 in favor of Jacksonville. The end-of-half fireworks continued in the second half, both in terms of chippiness and scoring chances.
In the opening minutes of the second half, Miami goalkeeper Daniel Vega made a pair of outstanding saves on powerful Armada shots to keep the deficit at one goal. Vega came up with an assortment of monumental saves throughout the second half that kept the match close.
A third of the way into the second half, Miami’s equalizer materialized after a lovely stint of interplay in the 60th minute.
Tyler Polak ventured forward from his left back position and dribbled around multiple Jacksonville defenders. He layed a short pass off to Jaime Chávez, who quickly recognized Ariel Martínez making a darting run into the box. Chávez tapped a quick through ball to Martínez, who buried his one-on-one opportunity past the goalkeeper with his off-foot.
A quarter of an hour after the equalizer, Miami nearly got a go-ahead goal by its newest member Kris Tyrpak, who played a fantastic debut match.
Tyrpak got under a floating ball and hit a stinging volley that was saved by Jacksonville’s goalkeeper. Tyrpak nearly scored again just a few minutes later, but his shot was cleared off the line by an Armada defender.
The goal-scoring chances were flowing over the final 30 minutes for Miami, but last-ditch defending by Jacksonville and a bit of misfortune left Miami with just the one goal and a 1-1 draw.
The Miami FC 2 now turns its full focus to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Miami will begin the tournament in the play-in round, facing off against FC Miami City next Sunday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Tropical Park.