Miami FC Shuts Out Armada FC
The Jacksonville Armada FC fell to the Miami FC Saturday Night at Riccardo Silva Stadium. Miami put four goals away and Jacksonville was unable to answer, leading to a final score of 4-0.
Jacksonville held the second place seat behind Miami heading into week 13 of the North American Soccer League Spring Season, and sat five points away from Miami making this a crucial match to win. The stakes were heightened Saturday after the New York Cosmos leapfrogged to second place after a win Friday night.
However, the Armada FC’s performance proved not to be enough to take the three points needed.
“We were superb tonight against a very clinical Miami team,” said head coach Mark Lowry. “We possessed the ball very well and gave Miami a lot of problems. Unfortunately they capitalized on their four chances, and we didn’t.”
Miami held most of the possession in the first half and took the lead in the 15th minute. Kwadwo Poku first hit the post, but Stéfano Pinho found the rebound and the goal.
Vincenzo Rennella was next to find the net for Miami when he fired a shot from the left side of the box past Armada FC goalkeeper Kyle Nasta. The teams went into halftime with Jacksonville trailing by two.
The Armada FC came back in the second half and gained momentum.
Jemal Johnson had an early chance shortly after play resumed, but his shot was blocked and went out of play.
Jacksonville received another opportunity in the 75th minute after J.C. Banks was fouled in the penalty area. The team was awarded an indirect free kick but it was cleared out by Miami.
The next goal for Miami did not come until the 79th minute. Rennella received a through ball from Ariel Martinez and put the ball in the back of the net for a brace.
Ariel Martinez scored Miami’s final goal in the 85th minute. He fired a shot from just outside the penalty area to bring the final score to 4-0.
“The score line was no way a reflection of the game, so moving forward won’t be a tough task,” said Lowry. “Myself and the players take a lot of heart from our style of play, and we refuse to surrender it. Tonight we just couldn’t get the goals our possession and territory deserved.”
The Jacksonville Armada FC will now return home after a two-game road stint to play Puerto Rico FC for the first time this year on Sunday, June 25. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Hodges Stadium and the club will be celebrating Puerto Rican Heritage Night. Tickets and more information can be found on ArmadaFC.com/tickets or by calling 844-2-ARMADA.
MIA (4-3-1-2): Vega, Bernstein, Trafford, Freeman, Smith, Poku, Mares (Rezende 56’), Lahoud, Ryan (Michel 89’), Pinho (Martinez 69’), Rennella
JAX (4-2-3-1): Nasta, Ryden, Pitchkolan, Jérôme, Beckie (Fisher 65’), George, Blake, Johnson, Steinberger, Banks (Rebellón 82’), Gebhard (Eloundou 72’)
MIA: Pinho 15’
MIA: Rennella 27’
MIA: Rennella 79’
MIA: Martinez 85’
JAX: George (caution) 22’
JAX: Beckie (caution) 57’
JAX: Steinberger (caution) 76’