Granitto Steals A 2-1 Win For Miami FC

Sunday night was a momentous occasion for The Miami FC, just without the fanfare. Miami had been showing all of the right signs of life necessary to compete in the USL. It always a matter of when and not if, Miami would begin racking up points. That “when” came off the right foot of Tomas Granitto. After Sunday night’s performance, Miami has earned points in three straight games against teams in the top half of their respective group.

First Half

Miami’s attack was roaring early in the match with multiple chances in front of Charlotte’s goal. With an early run down the left hand side, Vincent Bezecourt was on the receiving end of a centering pass in the middle of the box. Bezecourt quickly one timed his effort forcing Independence keeper Brandon Miller to make a quick foot save. The rebound would fall to Marco Franco who teed up Granitto. Granitto’s blast blistered just side of goal and narrowly missing Miami’s opening goal of the night.

In the eighth minute, Charlotte capitalized on Miami’s misfortunes. Jake Areman would find a loose ball near mid-pitch. Areman would proceed on a crafty twenty-yard run to the edge of Miami’s penalty box. Areman made no mistake in curling his effort with just enough pace to beat Bryant Gammiero. 

Six minutes later, Prince Saydee would be dashing to into the Charlotte box when he was taken down by Hugh Roberts. The Independence defender was a tad bit late on his challenge and took out Saydee’s legs before making contact with the ball. Romario Williams would take the penalty kick which was initially saved by Miller but the rebound landed right in front of Williams and his header would find the back of the net. 

In the 24th minute, midfielder Brian James would go down with what looked like a rolled ankle. James was unable to continue and Paul Dalglish was forced to make an early substitution bringing on Brenton Griffiths and forcing Rozebook into his natural midfielder role. Griffiths and Hassan Ndam would mesh well together, keeping the Independence attack far from goal. 

Second Half

Dalglish would make two additional changes at the half bringing on Miguel Gonzalez and Mohamed Thiaw for Williams and Harrison Heath. The snake-bit Gonzalez has had numerous chances at goal but has been on the unlucky end of finishing. In the 49th minute, Gonzalez would get his latest chance. Bezecourt would dash into the box drawing in multiple Charlotte defenders. The quick dump off to Gonzalez was blasted low but Miller made yet another kick-save. 

In the 55th minute, Saydee would make a dazzling run into the box from the left flank. Breaking multiple Independence ankles on the way, Saydee would also be denied by Miller. A few minutes later, Gonzalez would get his second chance on frame from just outside the six-yard box but be denied by Miller again.

The game-winning goal would come from the right boot of Tomas Granitto. The Miami midfielder would stand over a free-kick from about thirty yards away straight from goal. Granitto would waste little time over the ball and take a quick run up. Granitto’s shot was a rocket that took a slight deflection off the wall giving Miller no chance at a save. Despite multiple last minute attacks, Charlotte never got another good look at Gammiero’s goal. 

The Road Ahead

Miami return to action on Wednesday against the Charleston Battery. The road-trip to South Carolina is one of grave importance if Miami has any chance in remaining competitive in the group. The Orange and Blue have two games in hand on the Battery, but currently trail Charleston by nine points. Miami is digging itself out of a huge hole. A six-point swing is just what the doctor ordered in order to make the USL playoffs. 

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