ORLANDO – July 28, 2021 Everton FC defeated Pumas UNAM 1-0 at Camping World Stadium in the first of two friendly matches to close out the 2021 Florida Cup.
Moise Kean got into the box and took a shot straight at Pumas goal keeper Julio Gonzalez. Gonzalez blocked the shot, but let the ball roll under him. Kean saw the ball, leaped over him, and put it in. Terrible spillage of the block.
After that point, Pumas continued to clamp down on their defense, keeping the Everton offense at bay once they cross the midfield line.
As time wore on, the Toffeemen managed to poke through for some chances, as did Pumas.
The Mexican squad had a chance in the 51st minute when a shot went just wide of being an equalizer.
In the 64th minute, Abdoulaye Doucoure hit a nice shot that went just wide of putting this away.
A few minutes later in the 67th, James Rodriguez took a close in shot that Julio Gonzalez managed to save, keeping things close.
“We were expecting that (Pumas) would play in another way,” Everton Manager Rafa Benitez said after the match. “We were watching some games and they changed the system. And that is good news for us because we were learning how to manage another way to attack and defend against a different system. And that is a great opportunity for us to grow, to improve. And I think that we did well in the end.”
Match 2: Atletico Nacional vs Millonarios FC
Match 2 turned out to be an awesome setup. It pitched Atletico Nacional from Medellin Colombia against Millonarios from Bogota Colombia. A Colombian rivalry match, here at Camping World stadium.
The match turned out to be full of fireworks in the first half, as the teams went into the locker rooms at half time with Atlético holding a 3-2 load.
Both teams were well represented by their supporter groups. Atlético, sporting the green an white, and tons of signage on their side, even thought they were only added to the friendly 5 days ago.
Opposite Atlético was the Millonarios, flashing blue and white and signage.
Before the match started, a cloud of green snot lifted and filled the south end of the stadium as the Atlético fans chanted and cheered.
At the other end, clouds of blue floated up front he Millonarios support section, representing their side as well.
In the sixth minute of the match, Jarian Barrios started the coring off for Atlético with a score.
Millonarios had a chance in the 18th minute when Fernando Uribe fired a shot from the top of the area that wend just wide, coming close to an equalizer.
A few moments later in the twenty fifth, David Silva fired one in that got by the Atlético goalkeeper on a deflection. Their equalizer came, and it was a 1-1 match.
In the 28th minute, Harrison Mojica took a shot that a hit the crossbar, nearly taking the lead for Atlético. But that lead came in the 31st, as Jonathan Alvarez’s took a ball that went in between the defensive backs and scored for a 2-1 Atlético lead.
Silva came back for Millonarios to equalize in the 33’rd minute for a 2-2 score.
In the 39th minute, Dorlan Paton took a shoot what was just wide, almost giving Atético the lead once again.
Alvarez puts one by himself, pst the post, giving Atlético the 3-2 lead. Alvarez early scored is fourth goal in extra time if not for a save by Christian Vargas.
The second half started on fire, and I don’t mean the fireworks that were being shot off form the Millonarios supporters section. Umm…security??
Millonarios aggressively went after each ball, swarming everyone who touched it in the first ten minutes or so.
Later Atlético managed to fight off the Millonarios and catch them by pressing back through their defense. Nacional led in shots (17-11), shots on target (8-3), corners (8-4), possession (55.7%-44.3%), and passing accuracy (86.4%-83.9%). Despite the statistical domination, Millonarios were inches from tying the match late
Overall, it was an awesome Florida Cup for 2021 that was well received. It’s hard to image how attendance would be if the originally invited teams played, because the crowds were there and they were ready for some quality play.
Theis year’s Florida Cup did not disappoint.