Hartford Athletic out possessed and outshot the visiting Miami FC tonight, but their offensive efforts were not enough. They dropped the home match 2-0.
The first five minute of tonight’s match were filled with back-and-forth action, as both teams created multiple scoring opportunities. In the second minute, Younes Boudadi fed a ball from the right flank into Miami’s box for Ariel Martínez, but the forward’s one-timed shot was off target. A minute later on Hartford’s first corner kick of the night, Tulu won a header that bounced on target and was headed back out by a Miami defender at the goal line. On the ensuing possession for Miami on the other side of the field, a Yannik Oettl pass was intercepted and a three-on-zero opportunity developed for Miami. Tulu remained involved, heroically sliding in to block an open shot from Kyle Murphy. Oettl was challenged on the following corner kick when Paco Craig put a header on target. The German keeper made the save, wrapping up an action-packed opening to the match.
The pace of play slowed for a brief period until Miami found the back of the net in the 30th minute. Boluwatife Akinyode’s shot was deflected past Oettl and in, but Kyle Murphy was marked offside, keeping the score tied 0-0. 15 minutes later, Miami would draw a penalty kick after Mark Segbers was tripped by Luka Prpa in Hartford’s box. Murphy would convert the PK for Miami, redeeming his earlier offsides mistake. Despite outshooting Miami and putting five shots on target in the half, the Green and Blue headed to the locker room down 1-0. For the second time in as many weeks, they conceded a late first half penalty kick.
Not only have Miami performed better on the road than at home this season (3-5-4 at home, 7-3-2 on the road), but they also hold an undefeated record when leading at the half. That record showed in the second half, as they got to work right away offensively. Kyle Murphy had another opportunity after getting behind the Hartford backline in the 51st minute, but Oettl made a charging save to keep Murphy from a brace, his best save of the night. Hartford could not keep Miami off the second half scoresheet for long, however. In the 62nd minute, Florian Valot and Aedan Stanley connected on a well-executed give-and-go, ending with Valot beating Oettl to the upper right of the net and giving Miami a 2-0 lead.
Hartford had moments of positive offensive play in the second half, recording 13 touches in Miami’s box and entering their third 38 times. They outshot Miami five to four in the half as well, but only had one shot on target to show for it. Miami’s lead would hold for the remainder of the match, ending in a 2-0 final.
Tonight’s match was played in front of a sold out crowd at Trinity Health Stadium. Hartford Athletic go on the road to FC Tulsa next Wednesday, August 24th, and return home on September 10th.
Shots (On-Target): Hartford 14 (6) Miami 11 (4)
Corners: Hartford 7 – Miami 2
Fouls: Hartford 12 – Miami 14
Offsides: Hartford 0 – Miami 2
Possession: Hartford 57.9% – Miami 42.1%
Passing Accuracy: Hartford 87.8% – Miami 82.3%
Saves: Hartford 2 – Miami 5
45′ – Murphy
62′ – Valot (Stanley)
11′ – Sparrow (Yellow)
47′ – Saydee (Yellow)
75′ – Akinyode (Yellow)
79′ – Apollon (Yellow)
HARTFORD ATHLETIC STARTING LINEUP
13 (GK) Yannik Oettl, 3 (DF) Logan Gdula (Apollon, 63′); 5 (DF) Tom Brewitt, 4 (DF) Tulu, 2 (DF) Younes Boudadi, 11 (MF) Luka Prpa (McGlynn, 80′); 10 (MF) Danny Barrera, 30 (DF) Joel Johnson (J. Obregón 68′); 6 (FW) Ariel Martínez, 7 (FW) Prince Saydee, 77 (MF) Andre Lewis (Dally, 63′)
MIAMI FC STARTING LINEUP
24 (GK) Connor Sparrow, 12 (DF) Aedan Stanley, 5 (DF) Paco Craig, 4 (DF) Callum Chapman-Page, 96 (DF) Mark Segbers, 21 (MF) Boluwatife Akinyode, 80 (MF) Devon Williams, 17 (MF) Joaquín Rivas (Sorto, 67′); 10 (MF) Florian Valot, 11 (MF) Richard Ballard (L.Walker, 16′); 9 (FW) Kyle Murphy (Parkes, 67′)