Miami FC ended their season with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against the playoff-bound Puerto Rico Islanders at Lockhart Stadium on Oct. 2. The Blues finished without a loss in its final five games of the season and will look to build on a strong finish for the 2011 season.
“Our guys battled tonight against a good team so you got to be proud of the effort,” Miami FC Head Coach Daryl Shore said. “There are a lot of positives to take out of tonight and build on for next year. We’re going to take those positives and move forward.”
The Blues wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as Danilo Martins was in good position to knock in a rebound after a free kick on goal by Christian Gomez was stopped by Puerto Rico goalkeeper Cody Laurendi. But Laurendi could not stop the Danilo shot to put Miami FC ahead in the fifth minute.
The Islanders answered just minutes later as a free kick by Keon Daniel taken in the 12th minute bounced around dangerously in front of the net and landed at the feet of David Horst, who chipped the ball into the back of the net past Blues goalkeeper Matt Glasear.
Both teams would battle back and forth for more scoring opportunities and the Blues came close to reclaiming the lead in the 25th minute when a cross inside the box and after the Islanders failed to clear, Danilo took a diving shot that was smothered by Laurendi to keep the game tied.
Heading into the second half tied at 1-1, the Blues came out looking to take the lead and had several chances to do so, starting in the 50th minute when Gomez made a run up the middle in open space and dropped a pass for Brian Shriver inside the box. But the play was broken up inside the box before it could develop further.
The Islanders provided a scare in the 58th minute when a cross inside the box made its way directly past a flurry of Blues defenders and Islander attackers in front of the box without anyone getting a foot on the ball. Glasear made a nice stop on the ensuing corner kick to neutralize the threat.
Chuckwudi “Chucky” Chijindu came into the game and almost immediately made an impact, firing a shot from just outside the box that sailed just wide of the net in the 60th minute.
Both teams fought back and forth through offensively and exchanged shots on various counterattacks and despite making a late push in extra time, the Blues were unable to acquire that elusive second goal.