ORLANDO, FL – Orlando City SC (8-4-5 29 points) battled visiting Inter Miami CF (3-8-4 13 points) to a 1-1 draw in front of 17,966 fans at Exploria stadium.
The opening goal of the match came when Nani lofted a ball into the box and defender Antonio Carlos headed the ball into the net in the 45th minute. Carlos crumpled to the ground after the shot, appearing to have struck the head of another player while going after the ball.
Carlos was helped up and walked off of the field, waving to fans that he was okay. He did not return to the game.
“It was a difficult game for both teams”, Said Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja “ Both teams had difficulty finding their rhythm. The game did not flow for both teams. We’ll take the point today. We obviously we came to win the game but we respect Miami.”
Miami came close to Equalizing in the 52nd minute when Robbie Robinson managed to get past Roberto Schlegel and a diving Stajduhar to lob one towards the net. Once again this season, Kyle Smith proved to be “Johnny on the spot” and headed the ball away from the net.
Miami finally revenge in the 66th minute with a header of their own. Kieran Gibbs managed to put a cross in past Mason Stajduhar for the equalizer.
Orlando came close to re-taking the lead in the 82nd minute when Tesho Akindele took advantage of a blocked cross from Kyle Smith which fell at his feet in front of the goal. Unfortunately, when Tesho put the ball in, he was offsides.
“At the end of the day, it’s just disappointing” Said Akindele. “We expect to win at home. I felt like we didn’t impose ourselves on the game the way we usually do. A lot of it is just mentality. We just have to go into the next game with a positive mentality”
Orlando had 14 shots on goal for the game, including 8 in the first half, but only 4 were on target.Miami was far more efficient, with 4 shots taken all game, and two on target.
This was a contentious game, as most derby matches are. Miami was called for 19 fouls to Orlando’s 12, but Orlando received two yellow cards, as Miami received only one.
Orlando moves on to face Santos Laguna in the Leagues Cup in Exploria Stadium on August 12th at 7 p.m.