Tropics have chances, but just miss finishing in 2-0 loss to FC Miami City

by Brian Ackley

LAKELAND – The Lakeland Tropics seven-game unbeaten streak came to an end Saturday night at Bryant Stadium when visiting FC Miami City posted a 2-0 win.

The two teams are battling for a playoff spot in the Premier Development League's southeast division. With the win, Miami improves to 8-1-0 on the season, good for 24 points, one point behind league-leading SIMA Aguilas, who will be at Bryant Stadium next Saturday, who are 9-0-1, good for 28 points. The Tropics fell to 6-2-1, with 19 points.

Both of Lakeland's losses this year have come at the hands of Miami, who in nine games have given up only four goals. But the Tropics had plenty of chances to score.

Victor Parreiras banged one off the crossbar in the second half from near the top of  the box, and Miami goalkeep Eric Edge, who now has three clean sheets in three starts, made his best save of the night in the second half on a Ricardo Diegues header from in close. The Tropics also had a second half goal taken off the board by an offsides call. Diegues, who leads Lakeland with nine goals and saw his seven-game goal scoring streak, also just missed in the first half after Edge mishandled a ball well outside the box. Diegues  picked up the loose ball and fired from about 35 yards away, just missing the open goal.

Miami got the game winner in the 58th minute when Mohammed Kourouma beat Lakeland's Jonathan Valerio with a perfectly struck ball from about 25 yards straight out. A thunderstorm delayed the game for more than an hour midway through the first half.

Lakeland will be off until their next big showdown, this one against SIMA, The July 1 game will kickoff at 7:35 p.m.