The first away game of the 2017 NPSL season for Miami United took place at Gulf Coast HS in Naples, FL as they faced expansion side Naples United FC.
Traveling supporters, part of the famous La Doce United, were on hand to see the Miami United team a week after their 1-0 win over Boca Raton FC in the previous game. The Miami United squad seemed a bit disorganized and lost in the first ten minutes, probably because of the pressure of playing away on a field that was not familiar. Also, the home team started with very high pressure and a good rhythm.
At the fifth minute, the home team had a great opportunity to score, but goalkeeper Carlos Alcantara made a great save on the Naples forward that was practically alone in a 1 v 1 play. The rest of the first half was mainly played in the midfield by the two teams.
The second half started with Miami United more determined to bring home the three points.
Coach Stefano Agresti started making changes to the formation on the field and implemented a new strategy. The adjustments worked and Miami United started taking the lead of the game.
Several opportunities were created by Miami United attackers Jacopo Camilli, Matias Menza, and Nacho Ignacio Calcagno.
Menza, launched by Rafa Basso (Rafinha) made a quick run on the left side of the Naples goal and shot the ball to the far post, but the ball was slightly wide and went out. A few minutes later, a very good combination between Camilli and Rafinha led to a pass in the box for Rafinha, who was fouled inside the penalty box and the referee assigned a penalty kick to Miami United.
It was minute 58 and Calcagno took ownership and prepared the ball for his penalty kick.
Two minutes of tension, felt by everyone from the players to the crowd, built up as the referee to prepare to blow the whistle. Finally at minute 60, Calcagno was able to kick the ball to the back of the net to make the score 1-0.
The rest of the game continued to be played at a very good rhythm with Miami United playing more on the ground while Naples United was trying to send long balls to their forwards.
At the end it was a good game for both teams. Miami United took the 1-0 win, collecting all six points in the first two games of the season.
On Wednesday, May 10, the team will face Boca Raton in the first round of the U.S. Open Cup.