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 Hartford Athletic

Hartford Defeat Miami FC 3-2 at Home

April 6, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Hartford Athletic News Release


Hartford Athletic defeated Miami FC at home this afternoon behind a season-high three goals, a stellar performance from Deshane Beckford, and five saves from Paul Walters.

Beckford was Hartford's offensive engine in the first half of today's match. He created two shots for himself in the opening 15 minutes, one of which led to a rebound chance for Anderson Asiedu in the box that whistled just wide left of the goal.

In the 30th minute, Beckford's beautiful foot skill led to a penalty kick for Hartford. He made a quick move from right to left in the box and was tripped by Samuel Biek, drawing the penalty. Romario Williams took the PK for Hartford, but Daniel Gagliardi made a diving save at the bottom left corner of the goal to keep the score 0-0.

Beckford continued to wreak havoc in the Miami attacking third after the missed opportunity, as the Jamaican speedster capped off an excellent individual half by giving his team the lead in the final minutes. On the counter attack after a Miami corner kick, Beckford started the breakout by feeding the ball up ahead to Anderson Asiedu at midfield. Asiedu tapped the ball forward and Beckford made a dazzling run to chase it down, beating a charging Gagliardi to the ball. Now in a foot race towards the open goal with Gagliardi out of the box, Beckford took a few more touches to create space and bounced his shot into the net from just outside the box. The goal was scored in the 45th minute and after three minutes of stoppage time, Hartford took a 1-0 into half time.

The home side doubled their lead early in the second half when Romario Williams scored off a corner kick in the 54th minute. Joe Farrell elevated to head Jay Chapman's ball to the right post, where Williams played it off one bounce and into the net. After missing a PK in the first half, Williams made no mistake on his second scoring opportunity of the afternoon.

Down 2-0, Miami began to claw their way back into the game with a goal from Gabriel Cabral. After Nicolas Cardona's cross deflected off of Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Cabral fired a bouncing shot through traffic and past the diving Paul Walters to the bottom left corner of the net to cut Hartford's lead in half.

Protecting a one-goal lead in stoppage time, second half sub Enoch Mushagalusa gave Athletic breathing room with his first goal of the season. Off of a turnover in the Miami third, Marcus Epps led the ball into the box for Mushagalusa. The 24 year old striker booted a low shot that deflected off the sliding Gagliardi and into the net to bring Hartford's lead back to two.

Hartford conceded an own goal off the back of Joe Farrell in the third minute of stoppage time, but it proved to be too little too late for Miami. The final whistle blew in the 96th minute, solidifying the 3-2 victory for the Green and Blue.

Both Beckford and Mushagalusa made their 100th USL Championship appearance today, scoring two of Hartford's three goals. Paul Walters made a season-high five saves, including a heroic stop on a doorstep opportunity from Fank López in the 80th minute to maintain Hartford's 2-1 lead at the time. Joe Farrell and Marcus Epps picked up their first assists of the season as well, while Romario Williams scored his second goal and Asiedu tallied his second assist.

Hartford moves to 3-1-0 with the win and 2-0 at home. They have a bye week next week, then play NYCFC II (MLS Next Pro) in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at home on Wednesday, April 17th. They continue their USL Championship schedule at home against San Antonio FC on Saturday, April 20th at 5:00pm.

FAST STATS

Shots (On-Target): Hartford 22 (8) Miami 15 (6)

Corners: Hartford 6 Miami 10

Fouls: Hartford 10 Miami 13

Offsides: Hartford 3 Miami 0

Possession: Hartford 40.5% Miami 59.9%

Passing Accuracy: Hartford 75.3% Miami 79.7%

Saves: Hartford 5 Miami 5

SCORING SUMMARY:

Hartford:

45′ - Beckford (Asiedu)

55′ - Williams (Farrell)

90+1′ - Mushagalusa (Epps)

Miami:

76′ - Cabral

90+3′ - Own Goal

DISCIPLINARY SUMMARY:

Hartford:

33′ - Farrell (Yellow)

41′ - Williams (Yellow)

45+2′ - Ngalina (Yellow)

72′ - Walters (Yellow)

Miami:

21′ - Genzano (Yellow)

40′ - Mitrano (Yellow)

62′ - Cardona (Yellow)

86′ - Luishino (Yellow)

90+6′ - Bench (Yellow)

HARTFORD ATHLETIC STARTING LINEUP

25 (GK) Paul Walters, 5 (DF) Triston Hodge, 23 (DF) Thomas Vancaeyezeele, 15 (DF) Joseph Farrell, 3 (DF) Joey Akpunonu, 8 (MF) Jay Chapman (Makangila, 71′); 12 (MF) Anderson Asiedu, 11 (FW) Michee Ngalina, 7 (FW) Marcus Epps (Shaul, 90+4′); 31 (FW) Deshane Beckford (Mushagalusa, 77′); 9 (FW) Romario Williams (Dieng, 77′)

MIAMI FC STARTING LINEUP

12 (GK) Daniel Gagliardi, 25 (DF) Alejandro Mitrano (Ayimbila, 45′); 13 (DF) Daltyn Knutson, 6 (MF) Samuel Biek, 4 (DF) Nicolás Cardona, 16 (MF) Manuel Botta (Cabral, 45′); 80 (MF) Andrew Booth, 99 (MF) Allen Gavilanes (Mines, 69′); 21, 23 (FW) Rocco Genzano, 11 (FW) Frank López, 67 (FW) Mattia Gagliardi (Luisihno, 61′)


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