Inter Miami CF Falls 2-1 to Orlando City SC at Exploria Stadium
Inter Miami CF fell to a closely-contested 2-1 loss to Orlando City SC on the road. After defeating Atlanta United FC on Wednesday, the team challenged the hosts and created the bulk of the chances in the match.
The match opened with an early injury to Ben Sweat, resulting in former Orlando City left back Mikey Ambrose checking in for Inter Miami in Sweat's place in the seventh minute.
Inter Miami defended firmly through the opening stages of the match and created many chances of their own. In the 28th minute, Morgan delivered a precise right-footed corner to Agudelo in the box. The forward rose up and connected to head the ball towards the far post, but his shot went just wide.
Orlando, however, opened the scoring in the 34th minute on a set piece. Mauricio Pereyra delivered the ball into the box, which then deflected off of Andrés Reyes and into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead for Orlando.
Inter Miami entered the second half with a new look, bringing on Dylan Nealis and former Orlando City player Brek Shea for Victor Ulloa and Mikey Ambrose, respectively. The Club broke through for an equalizing goal in the 65th minute; Pizarro drove down the right wing and delivered a precise cross to Shea, who rose up in the center of the box and powered a header past Gallese and into the back of the net.
Orlando, however, struck back in the 69th minute. The hosts reclaimed the lead through a powerful shot from Pereyra, who was played in by Chris Mueller.
Inter Miami appeared to have a crucial opportunity to equalize just after the 70 minute mark when JuliÃ¡n Carranza, who came on for Robbie Robinson in the 61st minute, was fouled in the box. After a video review a penalty was given and a red card was shown to Rodrigo Schlegel. A subsequent review, however, deemed Carranza offside, negating both the penalty and red card.
A few more chances fell to Inter Miami, including an 80th minute shot by Shea that was blocked by the defense just in front of goal, and an 86th minute clipped shot by Pizarro from the edge of the box that was saved.
Ultimately, Inter Miami was unable to find the equalizing goal, falling to a narrow 2-1 defeat on the road. The team created several chances throughout the match, finishing with 12 shots to eight by Orlando.
The away match marked the close phase one of MLS's continuation of play for Inter Miami, in which the team played six matches in 22 days. It was also the team's first game playing in front of fans since March 7 when it traveled to face D.C. United, as Orlando City's Exploria Stadium has been operating at a reduced capacity to allow fans in the stadium while adhering to social distancing guidelines.
The team will return to action next Saturday, Sept. 19 when it travels to face Atlanta United FC at 7 p.m. ET at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in the team's first match of phase two of the regular season.
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Major League Soccer Stories from September 12, 2020
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