Miami FC’s five match unbeaten run in the USL Championship came to an end on Saturday evening. Having finally slain the yellow and green monster from Tampa Bay this month, the boys from FIU had the final boss to contend with to complete an undefeated July. A long trip to play a strong Hartford Athletic side. They came up just short.
Hartford had the better of the early play. In fact Miami were almost caught cold from the kick off. Hartford’s Sebastian Elney, a handy striker who hails from Boca Raton, sprinted on to a long ball and almost floated it over Connor Sparrow and into the net.
1'- We're off in Connecticut and things are already exciting. pic.twitter.com/B0AhQsZHNY
— The Miami FC (@TheMiamiFC) July 24, 2021
Miami weathered the early storm and began to make some inroads into the Hartford half. But with 30 minutes gone Miami failed to deal with a free kick and an unmarked Alex Lara tapped home Hartford’s first from close range.
Coach Paul Dalglish had returned to the technical area for this game after a recent Covid-related absence. He was forced into an unplanned first half change when Pierre Da Silva picked up a knock. Jashaun Anglin was sent on as his replacement.
Miami almost levelled things up when Ariel Martinez seized on an error by Hartford keeper Jeff Caldwell. The ball came to Ariel at an awkward height and he couldn’t find a finish. 1-0 to the hosts at half time.
Chances did come in the second half. Baggio and Christiano combined in the area. Desperate defending from Yacoubou denied them. Martinez had a free kick well saved by Caldwell. Paco Craig and Callum Chapman-Page nearly got one back but neither could force home a loose ball in the area. Miami did everything but score in the second half. Hartford’s rearguard held firm for a clean sheet.
54'- Knocking on the door. pic.twitter.com/DiSrDIW525
— The Miami FC (@TheMiamiFC) July 25, 2021
The match ended 2-0. Substitute Conor McGlynn added a second for the hosts with a classy finish from outside the area. Hartford now have two wins from two games vs Miami and have shut them out both times. Paul and his team don’t have much time to dwell on this. They return to Hartford on Wednesday 4th of August for a rematch. However the recent good form means Miami still lie 4th of eight teams in the Atlantic Division in the USL championship.
The season is just about at the halfway point so to be sat in the last playoff spot is something positive to build on. Miami can cement this position on Sunday 1st August when they take on 5th placed Charleston Battery at home. It’s a playoff six pointer and with fans now allowed back in the stadium you can enjoy this game up close and personal. Tickets available here. As always you can follow the game from home on ESPN+ (or YouTube outside the US).