The SIMA Àguilas, Orlando City’s PDL team (in practice if not in official name), won their second straight game tonight, scoring two very late goals to beat FC Miami City 2-1. The Àguilas entered the game in Miami having taken four points from their first two games — both against Weston FC. The first half of this one was largely dominated by the home side, with Miami nearly opening the scoring on several occasions.
It appeared that FC Miami City may have gotten on the board first in the 15th minute, when Hamza Mourchid received a through ball and slid it past SIMA goalkeeper Ritchie Steinmann. However, the assistant referee ruled that Mourchid was just offside, keeping the game scoreless. Five minutes later, the hosts nearly struck again when a free kick by Dylan Hauss reached the head of Rassambek Akhmatov. SIMA defender Moussa Gueye challenged Akhmatov with the ball sailing just over the bar, allowing SIMA to narrowly escape for the second time.
In the 36th minute, a long ball across the field reached FC Miami City forward Bryan Perea, whose first touch was back across the mouth of goal. The strike beat Steinmann but just trickled wide of the far post.
While FC Miami City could’ve scored three first-half goals, SIMA had trouble finding open opportunities. David Graydon, Bruno Lapa, and David Loera looked to open up opportunities for the visitors but were shut down by the strong back line of FC Miami City. The closest SIMA came to scoring was in the 26th minute, when Seo-In Kim attempted a shot on goal from about 30 yards, sending it just wide.
SIMA came out much more aggressive in the second half, controlling most of the possession for the first 15 minutes. However, the Aguilas were still unable to create shots on goal. FC Miami City, on the other hand, created two excellent chances to break the deadlock. In the 58th minute, Mourchid found himself on a breakaway, with only Steinmann to beat. The SIMA goalkeeper did well to push him outside and Mourchid lost the ball out of play. Three minutes later, Ismael Longo played the ball across the six, beating Steinmann, but nobody from home side could get on the end of it.
FC Miami City finally broke through in the 69th minute. Kevin Borges sent a low cross into the box, which appeared to be an easy clearance for SIMA. However, a mishit allowed Mehdi Boncoeur an attempt on goal. With his back to net, the forward fell back for an overhead shot, beating Steinmann to his left post and giving the home side a deserved lead.
It appeared as though SIMA would equalize in the 82nd minute when Jose Garcia sent a low cross toward the penalty spot, which found an Àguilas striker with space. However, he completely missed the ball with his attempt. Kim, making a back-post run, collected the ball but his shot was blocked.
Having been unable to put shots on goal all game, SIMA found its footing in the final three minutes. In the 88th minute, Sami Guediri found himself with the ball and space, taking a shot from 22 yards out. The shot beat Hugo Fauroux to his near post, equalizing the game. The goal provided life for the Àguilas who began attacking to go for the win. A minute into injury time, Rafael Santos struck a free kick from about 25 yards, beating Fauroux with an upper corner goal, and securing the unlikely win for SIMA.
While SIMA had possession for most of the game, this will be considered a stolen three points for the Àguilas. FC Miami City created several chances in the first half and had the best opportunities for most of the second half. A little bit of luck gave the team the opportunity to steal it late, and they did. After three games, the Àguilas (2-0-1) now sit atop the PDL’s Southeast Division with seven points. They will return home on Saturday night to face IMG Academy Bradenton at 7 p.m. at Montverde Academy.