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FOOTBALL-Jamaican Bennett helps LV Lights cruise past Miami FC. – Caribbean Times


TAMPA, Florida, CMC – Jamaican forward Khori Bennett pumped in a brace and enabled Las Vegas Lights FC to come from behind and dismiss Miami FC 3-1 in the United Soccer League Championship on Saturday in the United States.

The hosts trailed 1-0 after 25 minutes at Cashman Field, but Bennett’s strikes on either side of the halftime break, plus another from their captain Valentin Noël, helped them overcome the deficit and clinch their first win in five matches.

The Lights are 10th of the 12 teams in the Western Conference standings with 15 points from four wins, seven losses, and three draws, while Miami remains rock bottom in the Eastern Conference table with seven points from two wins, 11 losses, and one draw.

The home team was on the attack from the outset, and they owned over two-thirds of the possession while creating the lion’s share of the chances in the first 15 minutes of the contest, but Miami drew first blood.

A long ball over the top opened up space for an attack after midfielder Michael Lawrence chested a pass down for Frank López in the box, and the forward flicked it up and over the reach of a defender before poking the ball past Lights goalkeeper Nicholas Ammeter in the 25th minute.

The Lights continued to press the Miami defense in a bid to find an equalizer before the close of the first half, and they were able to draw level 1-1 when Bennett picked out the bottom right corner from inside the penalty in the third minute of stoppage time.

The host had just prevented a second goal from Miami on the other end when they launched another attack. They worked the ball around the penalty area before Coleman Gannon on the right eventually found Bennett, whose stunning backheel on the fly leveled the score.

When the halftime whistle sounded, Las Vegas had done enough to find itself level at the break with opportunity in the second half.

The turning point in the match came when Bennett chased a pass into the box, which resulted in Miami defender Daltyn Knutson being judged to have brought him down near the goal. The Jamaican forward stepped up and sent Miami goalie Felipe Rodriguez the wrong way with the resulting penalty kick in the 63rd minute.

The Lights got the insurance goal they wanted in the 82nd minute when an incredible pass from Gennaro Nigro to the back post allowed Noël to beat the ball back across goal and into the far side, netting for his sixth goal of the season.

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