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Inter Miami CF Earns 1-1 Draw in Orlando

August 4, 2021 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Inter Miami CF News Release

Inter Miami CF (3W-4D-8L, 13 points) earned a 1-1 draw with Orlando City SC on the road thanks to Heineken Man of the Match Kieran Gibbs' first goal in Major League Soccer (MLS). The result at Exploria Stadium extended the team's unbeaten streak to three.

Lineup Notes

Inter Miami made two changes to the starting lineup that defeated CF Montréal on Saturday, with Christian Makoun and Blaise Matuidi returning to the XI in place of Leandro González Pirez - out due to yellow card accumulation - and Federico Higuaín respectively. Rodolfo Pizarro, meanwhile, returned to the bench following his participation in the Concacaf Gold Cup with Mexico.

Match Action

The first half began at a balanced pace, with both teams finding moments to control possession but both defenses remained firm. In the 19th minute, Nick Marsman was called upon to make his first save of the match, catching a close-range header from Nani.

In the first minute of first-half added time, however, Orlando claimed the lead; a corner was taken short and played back to Nani, who then crossed it to the back post, where Antônio Carlos rose up to head it home for a 1-0 lead heading into halftime.

The second half, however, opened with a chance for Inter Miami; Robbie Robinson made a run in behind the defense from midfield, keeping the defense unbalanced with his dribbling before cutting past two defenders and chipping a shot with his left foot that beat the keeper, but was cleared off the line by a defender.

Inter Miami then made a double change, bringing on Julián Carranza and Rodolfo Pizarro for Robinson and Gonzalo Higuaín. The changes paid off a few minutes later; Carranza won the ball high up the field and possession was eventually cycled to Ulloa on the right wing, who then sent a cross into Gibbs in the center of the box. The English defender met the cross and flicked a gorgeous header past the keeper for the equalizer and his first Inter Miami goal. The assist was also Ulloa's first of the campaign.

Both sides continued to search for a winner throughout the duration of the match, but after 90 minutes the sides remained level, resulting in a 1-1 draw.

Heineken Man of the Match

Defender Kieran Gibbs was voted the Heineken Man of the Match after scoring his first goal in Inter Miami colors, flicking a perfect header past the keeper for an equalizer.

Post-Match Reaction

"It was a game that didn't let me down in terms of what I expected because they are a fantastic side and with really good players, and I also, for the last two or three games, have had so much belief and confidence," said head coach Phil Neville. "The players that came in were outstanding and the players that played out of position were outstanding. I think what I said to them at the end is we are beginning to resemble a team. A team that could fight back from disappointments coming from a goal down and competing against the best teams. Philadelphia, Montréal, and today against Orlando, we've completed and been equally as good."

Next Match

Inter Miami will face a quick turnaround as it returns to action this weekend, traveling home to take on Nashville SC at DRV PNK Stadium on Sunday, Aug. 8 at 6 p.m. ET.

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