The Miami FC took an early lead Sunday, but a red card and second-half meltdown cost the club three points, losing to Rio Grande Valley FC 4-2.
Coming into the game off of a home win, The Miami FC looked poised to take the three points once again. The match got off to a roaring start with Miami dominating possession and creating chances, a breakthrough would come in the 15th minute. After earning a corner kick, Pierre da Silva launched an unsaveable curling shot past the keeper and into the top corner, giving the orange and blue an early lead off a highlight-worthy Olimpico.
15′ – MIAMI FC GOAL!!!!
— The Miami FC (@TheMiamiFC) June 6, 2021
The second goal would come minutes later as Adonijah Reid turned on the afterburners and chased down a deep pass from Othello Bah and readied himself to shoot but then, in an attempt to clear the ball, the Rio Grande defender instead slotted it in for an own goal. The home team continued to dominate the run of play with Reid and Christiano Francois both having some opportunities, though near the end of the half Rio Grande managed to put a shot on target with Connor Sparrow catching it just enough for it to deflect off the crossbar.
Going into the second half Rio Grande looked much more comfortable on the ball, but it was a well taken corner kick that gave the guests their first goal of the night. Elvis Amoh leaped between defenders and headed one in. This was the beginning of the end for Miami, as just moments later Bolu Akinyode was fouled by Amoh, who then made a gesture towards Akinyode. Akinyode stood up and responded by swiping him in the abdominal area. In response, referee Jeremy Scheer issued Akinyode a straight red card.
Down to 10 men and trying to protect the lead, Reid and Ariel Martinez were pulled out to make way for János Löbe and Robert Baggio Kcira, returning to the club he laced up for in 2016, 2017 and 2019. Miami began to significantly struggle, missing both Martinez and Akinyode in midfield. It only took five minutes before Rio Grande’s Amoh got on the end of an excellent through ball and slotted it past Sparrow to tie things up. At this point Miami looked nothing like the side that started the match. Just three minutes after the tying goal — in what should have been a routine clearance — Callum Chapman-Page tipped the ball towards Paco Craig, who then mishit it for an own goal.
Another wave of substitutions saw Miami bring in Richard Ballard and Jahshaun Anglin, while Rio Grande did their best to keep possession and run the clock out to take home the three points. In a last-ditch effort Lamar Walker was brought in and numbers sent forwards to try to score an equalizer. With the game coming to an end there were eight minutes of added time, enough for a goal. A goal which would be scored by Amoh, earning him a hat trick and putting the final nail in the coffin for Miami FC.
Miami will be disappointed to have this game slip away from them as they fall into fourth place in the Atlantic division. Meanwhile Rio Grande continues to lead in the Mountain division. The Miami FC’s next match will be on the road as they take on the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on June 12 at 7:00pm in Highmark Stadium.