Palm Beach United hosted Miami United FC at the Benjamin School looking to finish the season strongly with the playoffs in mind. They were hoping to take three points off Miami for the second time this summer.
An even opening 10 minutes saw both teams have efforts off target with the first shot on target not happening until the 11th following good pressing from Miami. This resulted in Miami winning possession and a shot from Victor Cardoso. Detre Bell made the save and Michael O’Sullivan cleaned up the rebound.
PBU responded immediately with an attack in the 13th minute, which ended with a corner. The ball was swung in from the left, Markus Smarzoch headed down but a slight deflection landed gently in the keepers arms.
A big chance for Miami came in the 34th minute after several attempts following some sloppy play in possession from PBU. A Palm Beach goal kick was played out straight to Miami forward Cardoso, who played in teammate Nicolas Micoli. He slid the ball past Bell, only to have Isidoro Carrasco save the ball on the line.
There was an instant response from PBU as a free kick was awarded just inside the PBU half. Some good combination play set Cal Carsley free on the left. His cross lead to a smart finish from Smarzoch, who had came in from the right to knock the shot past Occenat Peterson in the Miami goal. It was a 1-0 PBU lead with 36 minutes gone.
Miami responded in turn to equalize just 90 seconds later. Direct play from the kickoff led to a long-range shot which was blocked but fell kindly for David Santamaria, who sent the ball past Bell on the half-volley. It was 1-1 in the 38th minute.
The first half ended 1-1 with Miami having the better of the chances following some sloppy possession in the opposition half from PBU. The second half started with PBU making a change as Sebastian Andreassen replaced Alex Satrustegui up front.
An early chance in the 48th minute came for Miami following another loose pass from PBU. Ball played in to Micoli, who escaped O’Sullivan, but his shot was well-saved by Bell at his right hand post.
Miami would hit the bar in the 62nd. Some good midfield play led to Micoli playing in substitute Shamar Shelton on the left. His first-time shot clipped the top of the bar from a tight angle.
Andreassen received a yellow for PBU for persistent fouling in the 72nd minute.
Two minutes later saw PBU come close to scoring against the run of play. Smarzoch was released on the right and his low cross was met by Brandon Joseph-Buadi from 12 yards. The shot struck a Miami defender and deflected over the bar.
Yellow cards were handed out In the 78th and 83rd minutes. A goal for Miami would come the 86th. Substitute Gabrielle Privitera carried the ball across the edge of the area and into the left channel. His delivery across the goal was met by Shelton to tap home from six yards.
PBU substitute Jorge Figueroa received a yellow card in the 88th minute. Shortly after Granitto went close with a long-range drive from the resulting free kick.
A chance for PBU to steal a point came in stoppage time. A all in from the left by Carsley was not dealt with by the Miami defense and fell for Joseph-Buadi. Peterson spread himself well to deny what looked to be a likely goal, deflecting the ball wide for a corner which came to nothing. The fulltime came shortly after.
A scrappy game saw Miami head south with all three points.
Contributor: Erik Hort/Palm Beach United
Photo Credit: Erik Hort/Palm Beach United