Pizarro Defeats Sporting Kansas City's Pulido in Inter Miami's Fourth eFriendly
Inter Miami CF played its fourth match in the Club's ongoing series of EA SPORTSï¸ FIFA 20 eFriendlies today at 1 p.m. ET, extending the team's unbeaten run. Designated Player Rodolfo Pizarro defeated Sporting Kansas City forward and Mexican National Team teammate Alan Pulido by a 7-1 aggregate scoreline. The matchup was streamed worldwide via the ESPN Deportes digital channels, the Inter Miami Twitch, YouTube and Facebook channels, as well as the Club's official app, and Sporting Kansas City's social platforms. Inter Miami has now claimed victories in the Club's four eFriendlies so far.
The eFriendly was hosted by ESPN Deportes and Ahora o Nunca hosts Mauricio Pedroza and Herculez Gomez, who prompted the competition by asking Pulido about Pizarro's gaming ability in an April interview. Pizarro didn't back down, accepting the challenge to set up today's matchup.
The Mexican National Team stars and 2020 MLS newcomers displayed their competitive spirit from the start, engaging in some friendly banter before the clash kicked off. "It was very easy, let's see if it gets a bit more complicated here," Pizarro joked in reference to his previous virtual face-off in which he overcame Mexican National Team and Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. forward RaÃºl Jiménez 3-2.
The first matchup of the eFriendly featured a showdown between Inter Miami and Sporting Kansas City, with Pulido having home advantage. It was Pizarro who took an early lead though, going up 0-1 on the scoreboard after just eight minutes with a simple Wil Trapp finish inside the box. "You gave me bad luck," said Pulido to host Pedroza, who was 'distracting' him with a number of questions moments before the goal.
Pizarro continued to impose his dominance the remainder of the first half, taking control of possession, attacking countless times and scoring with his virtual self to go into the break leading 0-2. "It's been complicated, but I'm playing at a really good level," said Pizarro following the first 45 minutes of the eFriendly.
Pulido seemed to take control in the early stages of the second half, but Inter Miami's attacking midfielder hit back with another goal scored with virtual Pizarro to finish off the match and win 0-3, although the scoreline would have been much greater if it wasn't for goalkeeper Tim Melia and his heroics.
"I think the mentality of my players needs to change, they aren't helping me out much. But I trust that I will be able to turn the matchup around," declared a confident Pulido going into the second match.
The second leg of the Inter Miami vs. Sporting Kansas City series was the decisive match of the eFriendly, with Pizarro playing at home this time. Sporting Kansas City's striker took an early lead, finishing off a team play with Johnny Russell during the sixth minute of play to go up 0-1. Pizarro fired back quickly and tied the match 1-1 before halftime to quiet talks of a Pulido comeback.
Inter Miami's No. 10 didn't slow down from there, turning the match around early on in the second half with a curled shot by Juan Agudelo from outside the box in the 53rd minute. Pulido had no response, with Pizarro scoring two more times to win the match 4-1, claiming the overall victory in the eFriendly with a thumping 7-1 aggregate scoreline. With today's win, Inter Miami remains undefeated in the Club's ongoing eFriendly series, winning the four matchups up to this point.
"Pizarro won because he's been playing for some time. I knew he was good, that's why I challenged him," said Pulido after being defeated.
With the victory against his Mexican National Teammate and former club teammate, Pizarro furthered his own record of dominance in virtual competition as he not only defeated Jiménez in the Club's first international but previously won Inter Miami's FIFA 20 tournament as part of Twitch's Stream Aid 2020, a virtual event that raised over $2.7 million for the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. The midfielder also represented Mexico in the FIFA eNations Stay and Play Cup on April 24, defeating Peru's and Vancouver Whitecaps FC forward Yordi Reyna, 2-1.
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