The night was as magical as one could have ever imagined it, but for Chris Nurse it was one of the most memorable nights of his illustrious career. The former Guyana international came away with the equalizing goal in the 78th minute that Miami United a famous 2-2 draw against two-time defending Uruguayan champs Peñarol at Ted Hendricks Stadium in Hialeah on Saturday.
“If I were to tell you about the week I had, you would not believe it. But for me to score against a team as historic as Peñarol, it’s unbelievable,” said an emotional Nurse after the match.
In a span of three minutes, Miami United turned around a 2-0 deficit. Juan Fuenmayor opened the scoring for the home side in the 75th minute off a header that saw goalkeeper Thiago Cardozo watch the ball flutter into the back of the net.
Peñarol took the lead in the fourth minute of the match, courtesy of a goal from Rodrigo Piñeiro. He would then score a brace in the 43rd that gave “El Carbonero” a comfortable 2-0 going into the half.
The 52-time Uruguayan league champs then subbed out the entire starting side and played the second half with their second team, but that did not deter Miami United to continue to play some intense football and make the match a competitive one for the 11,173 fans in attendance that came from places as far as Toronto and Boston to see this match.
“We did not know who Miami United were, I will be completely honest,” said Peñarol left back Rodrigo Rojo. “There were some good players on the team that showed some very good qualities. They proved that one the pitch and it was a privilege to play against them here.”
Peñarol will now remain in South Florida until Tuesday and will look to head back to prepare for the final phase of the pre-season prior to the beginning of their Uruguayan League title. They will also prepare for play in the upcoming edition of the Copa Libertadores group stage that will begin in March.
Miami United will also prepare themselves for their upcoming NPSL season which begins in the month of April.
Photo Credit: Juan Arango/Miami United FC/Ernesto Sempoll Photo