The Jacksonville Armada FC hosted Miami United FC at Hodges Stadium for the 2018 NPSL Sunshine Conference Semifinals on Wednesday night. The match was a historic occasion for the Armada FC, as the team had not made it to any playoff match in club history.
The Armada FC will continue on to the 2018 NPSL Sunshine Conference Finals after a 4-1 victory in the Semifinals. Miami FC 2 will host the Armada FC Saturday at 7 p.m. at St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens, Fla. The winner of Saturday’s match will represent the NPSL Sunshine Conference against three other conferences for the NPSL South Region title as the playoffs continue.
Miami United was the only team left in the Sunshine Conference that the Armada FC had left to beat this season. The Armada FC’s only previous win over the team was in May 2017, when the teams came together for a match in the U.S. Open Cup. This season the clubs settled for two draws in NPSL regular-season matches and Miami knocked out the Armada FC in the Third Round of the Open Cup.
The first shot came in the 5th minute and was taken by Miami United’s Tomas Granitto. Granitto’s shot caught Holt on a backpedal, causing him to almost dive into the goalpost to save it.
The Armada FC counter-attacked the shot with one of their own. On a set play, Joshua Castellanos passed to J.C. Banks, who was making a run into the box and passed a low shot right past Miami United’s goalkeeper, Occenat Peterson.
Things became tense as Miami United’s captain, Cesar Tejera, received a yellow card for a hard tackle on Yuma in the fifteenth minute. Four fouls followed the yellow card in the next few minutes until Peterson came out of his box to argue with the referee, resulting in his own yellow card.
Miami United equalized the match in the 26th minute. An indirect kick for Miami United was taken by Darryl Gordon and headed into the net by Nicolas Micoli.
The teams left the field for halftime tied at 1-1.
The Armada FC brought the heat early on in the second half with a goal in the 47th minute. Banks took a shot from the left side of the box and Miami United’s Elusma Pierre ricocheted the ball into his own net to give the Armada FC the goal.
In the 49th minute, Jacksonville widened the deficit more with the third goal of the match. Banks chipped the ball over Gordon to Kilduff who sent a low rocket into the back of Miami United’s net.
Fresh on the field in the 74th minute, Camillo Portilla passed the ball through the middle of the box and Kilduff one-touched the ball into the net, giving the Armada FC their fourth and final goal of the match. The goal secured the home victory in the highest-scoring match against Miami United FC.
Contributor: Alexis Curry/Armada FC
Photo Credit: Rosie Lindo/Armada FC