Miami pulls off shock win against Orlando City in Lamar Hunt US Open Cup

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Orlando City Soccer 1 Miami FC 3, Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 14th June 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

NASL league leaders Miami FC traveled to MLS side Orlando City Wednesday night in the fourth round of the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and pulled off a shock 3-1 win in convincing fashion.

Orlando City Soccer 1 Miami FC 3, Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 14th June 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Forward Stéfano Pinho (pictured below) grabbed the club’s first-ever hat trick as his team stormed to a 3-0 lead by the 55th minute. Miami always looked the better side as they created a couple of opportunities before Pinho grabbed the first in the 30th minute. Captain Michael Lahoud whipped in a low cross that zipped past Orlando keeper Josh Saunders and Pinho made his way far post to apply the finishing touch as the ball bounced off his knee and into the net.

Orlando City Soccer 1 Miami FC 3, Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 14th June 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Six minutes later, Pinho would double the Miami FC’s advantage. Defender Hunter Freeman lofted a cross deep into the box where Pinho raised superbly over his marker to head home the ball.

Half Time: Orlando 0 Miami 2

Orlando, as expected, stepped up the pressure as the second half opened but the visitors sealed the victory in the 55th minute when defender Robert Baggio Kcira marauded down the left flank before hitting a well-aimed cross that Pinho converted at the far post.

Orlando City Soccer 1 Miami FC 3, Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 14th June 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

That goal was the signal for Orlando Head Coach Jason Kreis to make a change as Kaká came on for Jonathan Spector in the 63rd minute and Hadji Barry made way for Carlos Rivas in the 69th minute. Orlando would get a goal back in the 79th minute as Giles Barnes managed to get a head on a Rivas corner but it was too little too late as Miami held on for a well deserved win.

Orlando City Soccer 1 Miami FC 3, Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 14th June 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

“This was the most important match in our short history,” said Head Coach Alessandro Nesta (pictured above). “I am very proud of my players. They were ready to fight for every second and they played a very good match.”

Orlando City Soccer 1 Miami FC 3, Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 14th June 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

“Miami was clearly the better team and they deserve a tremendous amount of respect, as disappointed as we are and as difficult as that is to say,” Lions Head Coach Jason Kreis said. “I take 100 percent responsibility for the result and for the performance.”

Orlando City Soccer 1 Miami FC 3, Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 14th June 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Pregame ceremonies honored the memories of the 49 victims of the Pulse tragedy a year ago this week. Tributes included a banner displayed at midfield and video tributes. Players wore rainbow scarves as they entered the pitch and the captain’s armband, first worn by Spector and then Kaká, was rainbow colored.

Orlando City Soccer 1 Miami FC 3, Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 14th June 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

The Lions return to Major League Soccer play on Saturday, June 17, when the Montreal Impact come to Orlando City Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. The Pulse victims will be honored again on Saturday.

Tickets to all City home matches are available at OrlandoCitySC.com or by calling 855-ORL-CITY.

Lineups/Substitutions:

Orlando City SC – GK Josh Saunders, D PC, Léo Pereira, ⓒ Jonathan Spector (Kaká 63’), Rafael Ramos, M Pierre Da Silva (Tommy Redding 46’), Servando Carrasco, Antonio Nocerino, Luis Gil, F Hadji Barry (Carlos Rivas 69’), Giles Barnes

Substitutes Not Used: GK Earl Edwards, Jr., D Donny Toia, M Cristian Higuita

Miami FC – GK Daniel Vega, D Robert Kcira, Mason Trafford, Rhett Bernstein, Hunter Freeman, M Dylan Mares (Gabriel Farfán 66’), Richie Ryan, ⓒ Michael Lahoud, F Vicenzo Rennella, Kwadwo Poku (Blake Smith 77’), Stéfano Pinho (Jaime Chavez 87’)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Ryan Herman, D Jonathan Borrajo, M Ariel Martinez, Calvin Rezende

Attendance: 5,838

More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

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