History Repeats Itself As The Miami FC Draws Tampa Bay, 1-1

Cvitanich scores early but late penalty forces a tie
Apr 9, 2016

MIAMI, Fla. – The Miami FC hosted the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Saturday, in the club’s first-ever home match in front of a staggering 10,156 fans. It was deja vu for Miami FC as a 1-1 draw saw Dario Cvitanich score early and a late penalty keep The Miami FC from taking away three points.

“The crowd was fantastic tonight,” said midfielder Wilson Palacios. “Their energy gave us a great boost on the field, especially late in the game.”

Cvitanich wasted no time putting The Miami FC on the board. In the 17th minute, a Martinez cross caused chaos in the Rowdies box, with the ball eventually finding its way to Cvintanich who buried it into the top-netting.

Tampa Bay responded with a quick burst of offense, but Mario Daniel Vega came up with two great saves to keep Miami FC in the lead.

Early in the first half Brad Rusin was taken out after suffering a knock. Wilson Palacios was subbed in to cover Rusin’s defensive assignment.

The rest of the first half saw a stout performance from Vega and the back line, as the Rowdies were forced into taking long distance shots.

The second half saw a slow start as both sides were strong in their defensive halves.

Ariel Martinez opened the game up in the 54th minute, with some great footwork. Martinez was able to dribble past two defenders but a third would clear the ball off his feet.

Tampa Bay again turned up the intensity well into the half, playing in the Miami FC third for nearly 10 minutes.

Vega and the defense were only able to absorb the pressure for so long, eventually giving up a penalty shoot in the 85th minute.  Substitute, Georgi Hristov was able to convert the penalty chance to tie the match at 1-1.

With time winding down the Rowdies continued to keep possession, but Vega’s great night continued, keeping the match level.

Late in extra time, Calvin Rezende created space just inside the Tampa Bay box, but his shot was blocked at the very last second.

After the final whistle blew both side left FIU Stadium with a point.

“I am very proud of our performance tonight,” said head coach Alessandro Nesta. “But we need to score more than one goal if we expect to come away with a result at home.”

The Miami FC is back in action, Friday, April 15 with a road clash against the Jacksonville Armada.