Miami FC was forced into extra time for the second time in the US Open Cup this year, and for the second time, they won the match to move on to the next round. This time it came at the expense of their in-state rivals, FC Tampa Bay Rowdies, winning 2-1 at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Miami got off to a very quick start in the match, scoring in the second minute. A free kick was awarded just outside the Rowdies penalty box, and Christian Gomez stepped up to take it. His kick bounced off goalkeeper Josh Lambo’s chest and into traffic in front of the net. The ball landed at the feet of Miami FC striker Paulo Jr, who shot the ball into the net to give his team the 1-0 lead. The hero from the first round scored his fifth goal of the 2010 US Open Cup, matching the totals of Sebastien Le Toux in 2007 and 2008 with the USL’s Seattle Sounders and scoring the most by a player in the tournament since 2005.
Miami almost doubled their lead in the 10th minute as threatening free kick by Euzebio Neto went past traffic and out of bounds. Despite the miss, the Blues managed to keep possession for most of the first half. The Rowdies would get their own chance at goal in the 35th minute, as a Yendry Diaz header was tipped over the crossbar by Miami goalkeeper Caleb Patterson to keep the shutout intact through the end of the half.
Both teams came out at full force to start the second half, with each getting a good scoring chance within minutes of kickoff. Tampa Bay would then pressure later in the match to force the equalizer as more chances came their way. They would finally break through in the 82nd minute as Mozzi Gyorio sent in a free kick into the box, which Diaz converted to tie the match. Diaz would get his shot at a game winner in the 87th minute with a hard shot, but Patterson made a diving save to keep his team alive through regulation.
In the 97th minute, Miami FC would get their advantage by virtue of a handball. Robert Valentino was called for a handling the ball in the box, resulting in a penalty kick. Abe Thompson stepped up to the spot and converted in the 98th minute, giving the Blues the lead they would hold onto for the rest of extra time.
Miami FC has moved on to the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup for the first time since 2008, when they lost 2-1 at FC Dallas. This time they travel to face Dallas’ Texas rival, the Houston Dynamo. The game is scheduled to take place at Robertson Stadium on Tuesday, June 29 at 8:30 p.m.
FC Tampa Bay Rowdies Lineup: Josh Lambo, Kwame “JJ” Adjeman-Pamboe, Yendry Diaz, Aaron King (80′ – Chad Burt), Gordon Kljestan (102′ – Joe Donoho), Pascal Millien, Stanley Nyazamba, Long Tan, Erik Ustruck, Rob Valentino, Takuya Yamada (65′ – Mozzi Gyorio).
Miami FC Lineup: Caleb Patterson, Paulo Araujo Jr. (97′ – Bryan Dominguez), Bryan Arquez, Cristiano Dias (104′ – Sean Cameron), Christian Gomez, Zach Kirby, Neto, JP Rodrigues, Edward Santeliz (116′ - Jair Cabas), Abe Thompson, Kyle Veris.
MIA – Paulo Araujo Jr. – 2′
TB – Yendry Diaz – 82′ (Mozzi Gyorio)
MIA – Abe Thompson – 98′ (PK)
MIA – Zach Kirby – yellow (22′)
TB – Yendry Diaz – yellow (32′)
TB – Stanley Nyazamba – yellow (58′)
MIA – Abe Thompson – yellow (61′)
TB – Rob Valentino – yellow (79′)
MIA – Bryan Arquez – yellow (85′)
TB – Chad Burt – yellow (110′)