RECAP: The Miami FC Beats Naples United 2-0, Inches Closer to Top Sunshine Conference Playoff Seed

Jun 22, 2019

MIAMI (June 22, 2019) - The Miami FC won its seventh-straight NPSL match on Saturday night, beating Naples United FC at home 2-0.

Miami has outscored its opponents 42-2 during that winning stretch and is now one step closer to clinching the top seed in the Sunshine Conference Playoffs.

A couple of harsh initial tackles from Naples United threw the Orange and Blue a bit off rhythm to start the match, though Miami continued to insist on playing directly and towards goal.

Naples’ elite defense was tough to penetrate, as the gulf coast squad pressed aggressively and consistently, and covered open spaces very well.

In the 15th minute, Miami forward Mohamed Thiaw took matters into his own hands, embarking on an impressive solo run down the right wing and freeing himself to swing in a cross that was cleared for a corner at the last second.

Miami and Naples went into halftime tied 0-0, with both defenses living up to their status as top five units in the entire NPSL.

Miami came out of the locker room determined to improve its play and break through a stubborn Naples defense.

The Orange and Blue wasted no time opening up the match. Just three minutes into the second half, Thiaw and Sam combined on the right flank. From a winger position, Thiaw crossed in to the box with his left foot and found Dylan Mares, who catapulted the ball into the back of the net with a diving header.

Miami kept attacking through the right wing, with right back Lloyd Sam frequently getting up field with and without the ball and creating havoc for one of Naples’ weak spots in defense.

In the 56th minute, Sam got loose down the right wing and centered a pass to Tomas Granitto, whose one-time effort was strong but saved in the middle of the goal.

Miami extended its lead in the 63rd minute. Chin moved the ball forward to Thiaw, who briought it down with a deft touch and ran into space. Thiaw passed towards the middle across the edge of the box, Mares dummied the pass and it fell to Gonzalez, who shook his defender and buried his finish to make it 2-0 in favor of the Orange and Blue.

Naples appeared to have cut the deficit to one in the 68th minute on a set piece goal, but a Naples player was whistled for a foul and the goal was waved off.

In stoppage time, a brilliant give and go between Hector Morales and Shawn Chin started up a potential third goal chance. Chin ended up finding Lionel Brown, who had kept himself onside and fed Thiaw, but the forward’s shot was palmed before being able to get past the goalkeeper.

The Miami FC will now look to win its seventh-consecutive match, this time in the NPSL Regular Season finale against Jacksonville Armada U-23. Kickoff will be at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 6, at Buccaneer Field at Barry University.

Starting XI
GK: Pais
DEF: Neeskens (90’ - Brown), Rozeboom, Chapman-Page, Sam (77’ - Morales)
MID: Mares (83’ - Martínez), Granitto (58’ - Chin), James
FWD: Suarez (67’ - Bah), Thiaw, Gonzalez

Goals
48’ - Mares (MIA) | Assisted by Thiaw
63’ - González (MIA) | Assisted by Thiaw

Bookings
33’ - Chapman-Page (MIA) | Yellow Card
39’ - Granitto (MIA) | Yellow Card
55’ - González (MIA) | Yellow Card
85’ - Pais (MIA) | Yellow Card