By: Kartik Krishnaiyer
For the second straight week, the Magic City Derby was intense, and for the second successive week, it ended in a 1-1 draw. This match, however, played at St Thomas University featured beautiful weather as opposed to the rain-plagued match at Ted Hendricks Stadium last week and both teams were ready to tussle.
Early on Miami FC 2 controlled the flow of play, controlling most of the possession and springing forward with attacks consistently. Miami FC 2 created and chances and were able to stop Miami United from using its pace on the flanks to create quick counter-attacking chances. During the first half of last week’s match, Miami United repeatedly forced Miami FC on the back foot with quick counter-attacking moves.
The Orange and Blue’s forward-thinking earned them a quick goal, going ahead 1-0 in the ninth minute. Jeff Michaud had time and space on the ball inside the opponent’s box and made no mistake with his finish to put Miami FC 2 up one early on.
Miami FC 2’s primary means of attack came from the left wing, where winger Coy Craft, a highly-touted player signed from FC Dallas this offseason and Tyler Polak frequently linked up and played interchangeably along the flank.
Though Miami FC 2 was the more threatening team through the first 30 minutes of the match, the match was thrown into flux when Tyler Ruthven was handed two successive yellow cards and ejected from the match. Miami FC 2 Head Coach Paul Dalglish at this point opted for Shawn Chin to replace Ruthven at right back hoping Chin’s offensive prowess could help the Orange and Blue continue to push forward.
Playing with 10 men for the remainder of the half, Miami FC 2 felt a bit more offensive pressure from Miami United FC as the first half wore on, and Miami United would end up getting an equalizer seconds before the whistle blew. Miami United piled the pressure on especially the last five minutes of the half and the equalizer seemed inevitable. David Ochoa was particularly influential for Miami United pulling the strings from an attacking midfield position.
Miami FC 2’s utility man Sean McFarlane, who usually plays along the backline particularly at right back, turned into one of the team’s most potent offensive weapons in the second half. He constantly made quick, strong runs through Miami United FC’s defense while operating as a target forward. After the match, Dalglish indicated he felt playing a man down he needed to throw some pace on the pitch at the attacking end to stretch Miami United’s defense.
As the night grew longer, the match became chippier, with seven yellow cards being handed out by the end of the match. Many of these cards were for dissent as the inconsistency of the officials was bothering both teams. Hard fouls going both ways were repeatedly called but did not result in bookings, while arguments often did.
Miami United seemed destined to snatch a second goal in the early minutes of the second half but as the match wore on Miami FC 2 was finding space and exploiting United on the counter. Don Smart’s pace, as well as that of McFarlane, created defensive headaches for United. Dalglish tactical change did work and Miami FC 2 looked more comfortable going forward with McFarlane on the pitch.
In the second half stoppage time, tensions boiled over as a scuffle ensued after Miami FC 2’s Dylan Mares was fouled hard. Three red cards were given out, two to Miami United FC and one to Mares. The ensuring Miami FC 2 free kick didn’t trouble the Miami United keeper.
The match finished 1-1 for the second-consecutive week.
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|
|Miami FC 2||1||0||1||Draw|
|Miami United FC||1||0||1||Draw|