Miami FC fell to a third defeat at the hands of Tampa Bay Rowdies this season on Saturday evening. After a long weather delay at Riccardo Silva Stadium the visitors left with all three points after a 1-0 win.
Othello Bah made a return to the lineup at left back. Marco Franco and Sebastian Velasquez were also handed starts with Brian James and Janos Löbe rested. Goalkeeper Mark Pais picked up where he left off after his wonderful performance to claim a clean sheet in the last game. Two big saves early on kept the scores level.
20 ' – Pais once again! pic.twitter.com/O86aNFStGH
— The Miami FC (@TheMiamiFC) September 27, 2020
Rowdies defender Jordan Scarlett went into the book in the first fifteen minutes following a reckless challenge on Vincent Bezecourt. The easiest yellow card referee Natalie Simon will ever give in her career and another ref, another day, he could have been off. Bezecourt and Velasquez have been marked men all season so it’s something they’ve learned to deal with. The classy Frenchman picked himself up and turned in another great performance.
FC came closest to opening the scoring when Bezecourt and Thiaw combined to set up Granitto. Granitto spurned the chance at the edge of the six-yard box, sending a snap shot wide. It wasn’t an easy finish though, the ball came at him quickly.
The Rowdies got their goal and again it came thanks to poor defending by Miami FC at a corner. The ball was swung over, Scarlett lost his marker at the back post and headed it across for Sebastian Guenzatti to finish off. Bezecourt had a chance to equalize right after, firing a decent effort just over the bar.
— Tampa Bay Rowdies (@TampaBayRowdies) September 27, 2020
Tampa Bay could have got the killer second goal. Kyle Murphy wasted a chance just before half time and Leonardo Fernandes had a powerful effort blocked by a brave Tomi Granitto at the start of the second half. They did have the ball in the net after a nice move in the 53rd minute, the assistant referee’s flag coming to Miami’s rescue. A very close offside call. Miami went looking for an equalizer bringing Romario Williams on at the hour mark. The Rowdies defense is so strong there was just no way through. Repeated attempts to pick the lock Tampa Bay had on their goal came to nothing. Another deserved clean sheet for the visitors.
The match ended 1-0. Another battling Miami FC performance undone by a defensive mistake. More worrying is that Miami have now gone 400 minutes of soccer without scoring a goal. They have to play Charleston Battery next who are just as good at the back as the Rowdies. Battery also have the advantage of having a weekend off, their game with Loudoun United was cancelled due to Loudoun’s multiple cases of Covid-19.
Miami FC vs Charleston Battery kicks off at 7:30pm on Wednesday 30th September. Watch live on ESPN+.