MIAMI (October 6, 2019) – The Miami FC hosted Atlanta SC in the NISA Showcase, Sunday evening. It would be a back-and-forth but an extra-time goal from Atlanta would see the teams split points.
It was all Miami FC in the early going with the Orange and Blue keeping the ball in the Atlanta half for the majority of the first 15 minutes. The first solid chance for Miami came in the 4th minute when clever passing between Othello Bah and Shawn Chin ended with a Chin shot that was blocked before it could find the goal.
Atlanta was able to spring a counterattack in the 12th that found keeper Bryant Martin 1v2. He darted quickly off his line and dispossessed the first attacker. The ball would roll to a second Atlanta forward, but Martin was able to put enough pressure to force the shot wide to keep the match level at 0-0.
Just as the tide was turning in Atlanta’s favor, Miami FC’s pressure would finally pay off in the 18th minute. The high press saw Darío Suárez intercept a pass just outside the Atlanta box, with the ball eventually falling at the feet of Mo Thiaw. Thiaw picked up his head and executed a perfect step-over to get past the first defender before firing home the first goal of the match.
— The Miami FC (@TheMiamiFC) October 6, 2019
Miami nearly doubled its lead in the 30th minute. Harrison Heath fired an eviscerating through ball from deep in the midfield to a streaking Thiaw. Thiaw picked up the pass at the goal line and sent it back into the box where Chin connected well with the ball but pushed the shot wide.
An even first half would end with Miami’s goal being the difference.
The opening salvo of the second half came in just the 46th minute thanks to Bah. The right-back pushed up into the Atlanta area and hit a tricky shot to the near post that was barely saved by the wrong-footed keeper.
The 53rd minute would see chaos in the Miami FC box, ending in an Atlanta equalizer. An Atlanta free-kick made its way to Martin who pushed away the shot into the path of another Atlanta attacker. The ensuing strike would hit the post and land at the feet of Nazeem Bartman who was able to find the back of the net.
A dangerous moment for Miami FC came in the 59th minute. A long shot floated just over the head of Martin struck the crossbar and ricocheted straight down. Martin reacted quickly and fell on the ball before it could cross the goal line.
The Miami FC would strike back within seconds to retake the lead. The Magic City Mago, Ariel Martínez snaked his way through the Atlanta defense before dropping a dime to Thiaw who smashed home his second goal of the match.
— NISA Official (@NISALeague) October 7, 2019
Atlanta would steal a point from the match with an extra-time goal scored off another scramble in the Miami FC box.
Miami FC will now travel to Atlanta to face this same Atlanta SC team next weekend before heading into a bye week.