The Rowdies piled more misery onto Miami FC as the Orange and Blue went down 3-0 in St. Petersburg on Wednesday evening.
Interim head coach Paul Dalglish selected a lineup with some changes. This was partly due to injuries, Prince Saydee and Brian James still not fit enough to start, but also Mo Thiaw was given the nod as center forward over Romario Williams. There would be even more work for the medical team. After a tight start to the game full back Othello Bah was forced off after 25 minutes to be replaced by Lloyd Sam.
The game plan couldn’t be faulted. Playing against the leaders of group H, Miami chose to choke up the midfield and press their opponents. With the strength of the options on the bench it felt like getting through the first 45 on equal terms then opening up in the second half would be the best option to get something out of the game.
The resolute defense was punctured just before half time. Lloyd Sam had brought down a Rowdies player on the edge of the area. Leo Fernandes sent in a great direct free kick which was well-saved by Bryan Gammiero, palmed behind for a corner. From that corner Rowdies defender Jordan Scarlett lost his marker and headed in from close range.
Miami came out with a positive approach in the second half and on the hour mark, Williams, Granitto and Velasquez were subbed in. But before that trio could get into the game it was 2-0. Once again it was from a set piece. A free kick sent in to a crowded back post, the ball found it’s way back across the face of goal and was finished off by Tejada.
67' – Bezecourt makes a great individual run and nearly cuts the deficit to one, but Louro was there to make the save. pic.twitter.com/htYW5SiuCO
— The Miami FC (@TheMiamiFC) September 3, 2020
Vincent Bezecourt was one player who kept fighting all night. He almost reduced the deficit to one after a mazy run right through the Rowdies but he couldn’t find the finish.
A late penalty added a third to the Rowdies score and that was that. In the end it came down to set pieces. Miami FC will attempt to get back to winning ways on Saturday evening, 7pm against Charleston Battery. Watch on ESPN+.