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Rivalry set aside to focus on lives lost in Orlando tragedy

49 shooting victims remembered during Armada FC match against Orlando City

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Armada hosted Orlando City Wednesday night at Jacksonville University's Southern Oak Stadium.

WJXT-TV reports the rivalry game would usually be quite intense, but Wednesday's soccer match focused on remembering the 49 victims killed in the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando early Sunday.

During the 49th minute of the match, fans clapped to honor the 49 lives lost. A moment of silence was also held before the national anthem.

Armada players and staff wore black armbands in memoriam. 

Orlando is a team known for having a faithful fan base and many showed up at Wednesday's match. Fans said remembering what happened Sunday is just as important as soccer.

"Very much important; it's tragic what happened. Any way to remember the victims is great," Orlando fan Christian Giannoble said. 

Armada owner Mark Frisch told WJXT-TV that while the Orlando and Jacksonville soccer clubs are rivals, Sunday's tragedy brought out a lot of unity at the match.

"It's obviously a tragedy on all of our minds. We wanted to pay our respects and do all we could to keep them in our thoughts," Frisch said. 

Armada fans showed up in full force as well, many wearing their Armada Pride Night scarf to show support for the LGBT community.

"It's going to be more heartfelt, more emotional about tonight's game, between two teams that are rivals. It's going to be not as big a rivalry," said Armada fan Sunny Nalik before the match. "It's going to be more relaxed, more calm. But still in it for the tournament, without a doubt."

Orlando City defeated the Armada 1-0.


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