MIAMI – Goals in either half by Adonijah Reid and Christiano Francois sent Miami FC to a 2-0 victory against the New York Red Bulls II on Sunday night at FIU Stadium as the hosts snapped a two-game run without a goal in their home finale for the regular season.
The hosts had an early chance in the eighth minute when El Salvador international Josh Perez ran onto a long ball upfield by goalkeeper Connor Sparrow and drove into the left side of the penalty area before pulling his finish wide of the right post. Six minutes it was the turn of Red Bulls II as Steven Sserwadda played a good through-ball for Jake LaCava into the left channel that the forward shot to the near post where Sparrow was on hand to turn wide of the upright.
Perez set up the opening goal of the game in the 18th minute, however, as he received possession on the left and beat his marker with a move to the byline before delivering a cross that was chested home at the near post by Reid.
The visitors threatened to level on the half-hour mark when Omar Sowe played Guadeloupe international Luther Archimede into the right side of the penalty area for a low shot that was turned into the side-netting at the near post by Sparrow, while in stoppage time Miami went close again as Callum Chapman-Page headed strongly on target off a corner kick from the right by Pierre Da Silva but was denied by a sharp save from New York goalkeeper AJ Marcucci.
Having set up the visitors’ best chance of the half, Sowe had an opportunity of his own deep in first half stoppage time but clipped his finish into the side-netting from the right side of the penalty area. Miami got back on the front foot to start the second half, however, and New York defender Michael Knapp had to come up with a fine block to deny Reid his second after the Canadian got a clear look at goal off a cutback cross from Lamar Walker seven minutes after the break.
Both Bolu Akinyode and Francois also had chances to add an insurance goal for the hosts with the former shooting off target and the second being denied by a low save by Marcucci, but with eight minutes to go the Red Bulls II almost found an equalizer when Sowe blocked a pass in Miami’s half into the path of LaCava, whose first-time shot toward the left corner was parried away by Sparrow smartly.
A minute later the hosts added their second, though, as on a counterattack Chris Cortez played forward a pass for Francois on which the Haiti international outdueled his marker to win possession before cutting onto his right foot and sending a low finish into the left corner of the net for his team-leading 11th goal of the season. That wrapped up the win for the hosts, who kept their chances of a second-place finish alive with the win.
USLChampionship.com Man of the Match
Bolu Akinyode, Miami FC – Akinyode was solid throughout in midfield as he completed 49 of 51 passes and won 7 of 9 duels while making two interceptions and seven recoveries for the hosts.
MIA – Adonijah Reid (Josh Perez) 18’
MIA – Christiano Francois (Chris Cortez) 83’