Jacksonville Armada and Miami United have played two winner-take-all matches this year. Last May, Miami United traveled to Duval County and emerged with a win to advance in the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Wednesday night, they would not be so fortunate, as a second-half blitz guaranteed that Jacksonville Armada would face fellow NASL exile The Miami FC 2 for the National Premier Soccer League’s Sunshine Conference title.
The first half was a relatively even match. Jacksonville Armada struck first in the eighth minute, with a goal from JC Banks.
The goal seemed to wake up Miami United, and it responded with a headed goal from Nicolas Micoli in the 26th minute.
That goal seemed to reinvigorate Armada, and they had the better of the rest of the first half. The second half, however, was a different story altogether.
Two goals in two minutes proved to be the major difference. Banks earned a brace in the 47th minute thanks to a deflection, and was followed two minutes later by Ciarán Kilduff to give Jacksonville Armada a 3-1 lead it would never relinquish.
Kilduff got his brace in the 74th minute to close the scoring, and close the story on Miami United’s season.
Miami will be remembered for a tremendous Open Cup run, which concluded with a match at home against Orlando City SC. It will also be remembered, however, for a post-Cup swoon which took Miami United from the top of the Sunshine Conference table to a third-place finish which saw them traveling to Jacksonville.
The Armada will now travel to Miami-Dade county to face off against Miami FC 2. The winner will win the Sunshine Conference advance to the NPSL’s regional playoffs. The match kicks off at Bobcat Field at St. Thomas University on Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets are available on MiamiFC.com.