Miami Resurrection

Miami FC turned the tables on Charleston Battery Wednesday evening. A four goal blitz in the second half gave the Orange and Blue a 4-3 win few would have seen coming before kick off.

The match did start with a similar script to most of Miami FC’s season. They struggled to compete with the visitors initially. Perhaps Charleston were enjoying the benefit of their rest at the weekend following the cancellation of their game vs Loudoun United. Barely ten minutes had gone when Miami were caught flat-footed and Nicque Daley turned in a loose ball in the six-yard box for Battery’s first.

Miami FC keeper Mark Pais once again came to his team’s rescue. Bravely denying Daley in a one-on-one that kept the deficit at one goal. It would be a missed chance that proved costly for Nicque and the Battery by the end of the evening. Daley should have had a hat trick. He scored his second when Hassan Ndam allowed him to wriggle free on the right. The Jamaican powered towards the Miami FC goal and made no mistake with the finish. Half time, the score two-nil.

It’s been a difficult season for Miami FC fans but those who stuck with this game were about to be rewarded for their patience. Indeed anyone who was watching the match can’t have complained about the entertainment value of the second half.

With their first meaningful attack of the game Miami got one back. Prince Saydee collected a ball from Marco Franco. He drifted by a Charleston defender and sent a cross low across the area. It didn’t look particularly dangerous. But Velasquez cleverly dummied the ball for the lurking Romario Williams who buried a simple finish from close range. For once, it was Miami’s opponents who were guilty of ball-watching.

Straight away Charleston replied. Robbie Crawford skillfully restoring the Battery’s cushion. That goal knocked Miami off balance for a few minutes but Charleston couldn’t take advantage. Step forward Sebastian Velasquez.

The skillful Colombian #10 has been a wonderful addition to the squad and he can change a game single handed. He’s been unlucky with injuries this season but last night showed everyone what he is capable of. Miami got on the scoresheet again when Velasquez sent in a perfect corner to the back post. Vincent Bezecourt was totally unmarked and was left with an easy header to score his first goal for the club.

Velasquez then put the ball in the net himself. Scoring a fantastic goal, dribbling expertly into the area and finishing from a difficult angle. Again Charleston almost came straight back, substitute Arthur Bosua heading against the bar after a swift Battery counter attack.

When Bezecourt missed an open goal that would have put Miami ahead it increasingly looked like the game would end 3-3. One last twist in the tale. Miguel Gonzalez adding another important goal to his resume with a couple of minutes left in the 90. It wasn’t the prettiest goal. Battery keeper Kuzminsky couldn’t keep his hands on a stinging effort by Prince, who had another great night on the wing. Gonzalez got to the rebound first. His shot was nothing special but caught Kuzminsky off-guard. The Battery defense reacted too slowly and the ball just crossed the line before being cleared. The goal would stand, 4-3 Miami.

That’s how it would finish. The smallest possible margin of victory, a goal that was mere inches over the line. But Miami will take it. A gutting result for Charleston who had control of the group in their hands and threw it away. The last time the Battery let in more than three goals was over a year ago when they got thumped 5-0 by the Rowdies at home.

The second half display was what many expected from Miami FC all season. Now they’ve proved they are capable of it the question is how do they do it on a consistent basis? Signing off with back-to-back wins would be a small victory for the team. One game remains against Atlanta United 2 on Sunday 4th October, kick off 7:30pm, live on ESPN+.

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