Two first half goals and a third in the 71′ saw the hosts take all three points
MIAMI, FL (May 3, 2023) – Battling against a deficit from the second minute of the match and onward, Legion FC suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of The Miami FC. The hosts scored two in the first half, Legion bounced back with a goal right before the halftime whistle, but a third goal by Miami in the 71st minute shut down the scoreline.
Miami’s first goal came from a free kick just outside the box in the second minute of play. Christian Sorto sent one over the Legion wall and beat goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg at the far post.
In the 16th minute, the Florida side found its second through an own goal off of Legion defender Alex Crognale while defending a corner kick. Converting off of set piece opportunities has been crucial for Miami in 2023.
“Starting out the game we talked about how [Miami] hasn’t scored many goals in the run of play,” said Head Coach Tommy Soenh. “They survive off set pieces, and we gave two set piece goals away. That’s hard to come back from. So I’m disappointed in that part but, I thought we settled in and actually did some decent things. Getting the one back before half is important, but just on the day wasn’t good enough.”
Legion FC showed fire to get back into the match before the first-half break. Legion forward Juan Agudelo held the ball in the box and back-heeled it to 2022 Team MVP Enzo Martinez, who shot twice and got his fourth goal of the season off goalkeeper Jake McGuire’s initial save.
The Boys in Red looked promising throughout the match, leading in possession (57%), shots (16 to 8), and expected goals (1.52 to 0.35), but it was not Birmingham’s night. Miami would find its third in the 71st minute through Dennis Dowouna. The Ghanaian found a moment unpressured outside the box, took his shot, and got one past Spangenberg.
Legion FC has played three games in seven days. The squad is operating on little rest but, “it’s never an excuse,” said Coach Soehn. The focus now shifts to Saturday’s match against the Oakland Roots of the USLC Western Conference back at Protective Stadium. The boys will look to learn from tonight’s match and get back into form at home.
“It’s always important [to bounce back],” said Soehn. “Anytime you feel like you let yourself down, you want to turn around and rectify it. And this team has done a good job of that, and we have to do it again. Like I said, when you create a hole like we did, we kind of got what we deserve, and then we’re having to come back from it. And we almost did, but you open yourself up for more opportunities later. And I think our likes showed at the end, too, but that’s part of the game, we got to turn around and focus on Saturday.
|1st Half||2nd Half|
MIA – 2’ – #99 Christian Sorto
MIA – 16’ – (OG) #21 Alex Crognale
BHM – 36’ – #19 Enzo Martinez
BHM – 4-2-3-1 – #18 Trevor Spangenberg; #4 Collin Smith, #21 Alex Crognale, #3 Phanuel Kavita © (81′ #11 Neco Brett), #33 Moses Mensah (61′ #16 Gabriel Alves); #6 Anderson Asiedu, #17 Matthew Corcoran (72′ #5 Mikey Lopez); #19 Enzo Martinez, #10 Prosper Kasim, #13 Jake Rufe (61′ #15 Tyler Pasher); #9 Juan Agudelo
Legion FC returns HOME on Saturday, May 6 to face the USLC Western Conference side Oakland Roots. The match will kick off at 6:30pm CT at Protective Stadium. Tickets can be purchased HERE.
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