NPSL National Semifinal | Miami FC vs Cleveland SC | July 27th, 2019

NPSL National Semifinal

Miami, FL – What do winning organizations have in common? Consistency. Since The Miami FC first kicked off in 2016, then part of the now non-existent NASL, all they’ve done is win. Sure, their budget doesn’t have limitations, affording them the best players, but it’s not their fault other clubs can’t keep up. That’s exactly what we saw in today’s NPSL National Semifinal match, in which Miami hosted Cleveland SC for a chance to repeat as national champions. 

The game was completely one-sided, from beginning to end, but you wouldn’t know it from the score at halftime. Miami dominated possession, created the majority of the opportunities, and barely allowed the ball to leave Cleveland’s side of the field. Cleveland had zero shots on goal, compared to Miami’s five. Nevertheless, they weren’t able to capitalize off those opportunities.

The second half was a different story. Eight minutes in, Ariel Martinez assisted off a corner that was buried by Callum Chapman-Page, sending the crowd into a frenzy. Two minutes later, Arielito struck again, this time receiving a pass from Miguel Gonzalez in the box and made good of his shot. A man of the people, he made his way to the Dade Brigade and basked in the glory which was so rightfully his. In the 80th minute, Gonzalez kept that 2nd half playoff fire going, scoring one-on-one with the goalkeeper. All but two goals Miami FC have scored on the playoffs have come in the 2nd half. The 2nd wind is a thing. Four minutes later, Mike Derezic gave Miami fans a scare when he put Cleveland on the board to make it 3-1 with a few minutes still left to play. However, in the 89th minute, the Orange and Blue put a dagger into Cleveland’s national championship hopes. Harrison Heath received a pass inside the box from Shawn Chin, and homeboy sent a rocket into the top corner, giving Miami the 4-1 victory. 

Next up, Miami travels to New York to face the Cosmos in the NPSL National Championships! The squad looks to win back-to-back national titles before transitioning into the National Independent Soccer Association. The squad will forego the NPSL Founders Cup and plans to start playing in the new league this fall. 

📸Credit: Albert Palacio

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