Miami FC wins against the Rochester Rhinos for the first time

September 17, 2008 - USL First Division (USL-1) - Fort Lauderdale Strikers News Release

Miami, September 17, 2008 - Miami FC welcomed the playoff bound Rochester Rhinos into Tropical Park on Wednesday night after 11 days off since their last game. The Blues had a tough road trip and lost 3-0 in their last game against the Seattle Sounders. The Rhinos came into the game against the Blues after a 1-1 draw against the Carolina RailHawks. Blues fans were pleased to watch Miami claim 3 points from a well-deserved victory - the first ever since Miami FC's inception in 2006 against the Rochester Rhinos - that was sealed by an Alex Afonso goal in the 72nd minute and a great performance by goalie Sam Reynolds.

The first 10 minutes seemed to be used to get some of the kinks out of the offense after not having played a competitive match in over 10 days. With some of the regulars not in the starting lineup, like Josh Saunders and Léo Inácio, the Blues were getting a feel for each other early on.

In the 12th minute however the Brazilian duo of Cauê da Mata and Ricardinho began what was an excellent opportunity for Miami. The two combined and Cauê was played down the right corner and near the end line he powered in a nice low cross that flew by the goal mouth. Alex Afonso was at the back post but the ball did not make it to him as Ansu Toure took a shot that was blocked well by a Rhinos defender.

In the 27th minute a throw in proved to be dangerous for the Blues defenders as two Rhinos players were able to get their heads on the ball, one of which was at the 6-yard box, but the second header went wide left.

Both teams lacked a finishing quality in their offensive halves. Sam Reynolds, who started the game because of the absent Saunders, played very well and was forced into a few saves but looked confident as if he was the starter all season.

After only a minute of stoppage time both teams headed to the locker room looking to regroup and attack with more consistency.

Miami definitely looked like a different unit in the second half.

In the 48th minute Alex Afonso crossed in a great ball into the area for Connally Edozien who probably should have done better as his header bounced off the top of his head and went over the goal.

In the 53rd minute Miami created a free kick opportunity at the edge of the area which was taken by Ricardinho. His ball curved well but struck the head of a Rhinos player as it was making its way to the upper left angle.

In the 72nd minute Alex Afonso started and ended a great play by blasting a low shot from outside the area into the bottom right to notch his 15th goal of the season. Afonso picked the ball up at midfield and played a nice through ball to the streaking Ansu Toure. The Liberian did his best to get a shot off but his attempt was blocked and the ball rolled out to Afonso who finished exquisitely.

Rochester appeared to have scored in the 85th but a foul was called. A cross into the area found the head of Matthew Delicate on the right post. He popped his header up over to a Rhinos player who took a left footed shot that made its way past Reynolds. However Jarryd Goldberg was on the ground after he was judged to have been in position and was fouled by the Rhinos player.

4 added minutes were not enough for the Rhinos to equalize and the Blues got all three points at home on Wednesday night.

Miami's last game of the season will be played at Tropical Park on Sunday, September 17th against the Atlanta Silverbacks. Group tickets are currently on sale by visiting http://www.miamifc.com/%20or%20by%20calling%20305-728-2612.%20Single%20game%20tickets%20are%20available%20through%20Ticketmaster.com%20or%20by%20calling%201-866-57-MIAMI.

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