Tampa Bay Sports Day

U.S. CUP: Miami FC Dominates in 3-1 Upset of Orlando City

ORLANDO – The Miami FC was on the road, Wednesday night, for a U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round match against Orlando City SC. The Orange and Blue came out fast and dominated the match, upsetting Orlando 3-1. Forward Stéfano Pinho was sensational, meeting the club’s first-ever hat trick.

“This was the most important match in our short history,” said Head Coach Alessandro Nesta. “I am very proud of my players. They were ready to fight for every second and they played a very good match.”

The Miami FC was up to the challenge in the first half, dominating throughout and netting two goals.

The action got going early with midfielder Dylan Mares getting a dangerous shot off before the clock hit the first minute.

As the Orange and Blue started to connect its passes, space opened up in the Orlando box that would soon get exploited.

Forward Stéfano Pinho was the danger man throughout the first half, making piercing runs into the Orlando goal.

His efforts would finally pay off in the 30th minute. Captain Michael Lahoud whipped in a low cross that zipped past Orlando keeper Josh Saunders. Pinho made his way far post and finished the chance with a well-timed slide.

Six minutes later, Pinho would double the Miami FC’s advantage. Defender Hunter Freeman lofted a cross deep into the box where Pinho raised over is marker and head home the ball.

A shocked Orlando would go in to the locker room down 2-0 to the Miami FC.

The Orange and Blue had to do some more defending in the second half, but continued to control the match.

Pinho wasted no time netting his third goal of the night, finding the back of net in the 55th minute. Defender Robert Baggio Kcira marauded down the left flank before hitting a well-aimed cross. Pinho once again was open at the far post to put the Miami FC ahead 3-0.
Even with a large lead in hand, the Miami FC did not let up in the attack.

Midfielder Kwadwo Poku powered past multiple defenders in the 60th minute, thumping a curling shot that just missed the far post.

As time ticked away, Orlando began to make headway against the Miami FC defense. Orlando’s Giles Barnes would get under a cross in the 79th minute to get Orlando City on the board.

Seconds later, Blake Smith created space just inside the box and hit a great shot to the bottom corner. Unfortunately, Saunders was able to get down and make a save.
Orlando would attempt to mount a few more attacks but to no avail, as the Miami FC secured the historic 3-1 victory.

The Orange and Blue is back at Riccardo Silva Stadium, Saturday, June 17 to take on Jacksonville Armada FC on Haitian Heritage Night.