MATCH RECAP: Lions Secure Nine-Point Week with 2-1 Win Over Inter Miami CF

Nani blast goes down as game-winner; Chris Mueller scores first of the year
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla – Orlando City SC (6-1-3, 21 points) rallied from a 1-0 deficit to defeat intrastate foe Inter Miami CF (2-6-2, 8 points), 2-1, at DRV PNK Stadium on Friday night. With the win, the Lions secured their third win in a span of seven days, a feat accomplished for the first-time in Club history, while the victory marked the first time in the series the visiting team took all three points.

Chris Mueller and Nani tallied for Orlando, the first of the season for the former, while the latter scored his sixth of 2021. Nani also recorded the assist on Mueller’s goal, his third assist over the team’s last two matches.

Goalkeeper Brandon Austin earned the nod again between the pipes, picking up his third-straight win to open his MLS career. The Tottenham loanee made a total of two saves on the night, including a big stop just three minutes in to keep Lewis Morgan off the board.

Head Coach Oscar Pareja:
“First, let me transmit a message from our Club, fans, our players, to the people who have lost their families in the collapse of the tower here in Miami. I would like to express our sympathy and our empathy, as well, for the pain they are having. Obviously we have them in our thoughts and we’re praying for relief. About the game, very happy, very proud. Three points that mean a lot for us; it’s a derby. This is a game that we wanted to win, playing in their place here, we haven’t done that [before]. The first half, it was a long week and we felt it. We had heavy legs and I think the boys did an excellent job overcoming that part and their heart was bigger than those three points. All for the players. It’s incredible, the effort, and they deserve to win.”

Scoring Recap:

67’ Gonzalo Higuain (Jay Chapman) – MIA 1, ORL 0
The home side took the lead in the 67th minute of the match, after second-half substitute Gonazlo Higuain hit a low shot from outside of the area that found its way through traffic for Miami’s first and only goal of the game.

73’ Chris Mueller (Nani, Robin Jansson) – ORL 1, MIA 1
It didn’t take long for the Lions to equalize, however, with Nani and Chris Mueller connecting on a goal that only took two touches to slam home. Robin Jansson got things started with a ball over the top, which Nani crossed into the area with a single touch. The Wisconsin product was ready on the other end, one-timing in his first goal of the season.

80’ Nani (Benji Michel) – ORL 2, MIA 1
The Lions captain put the game to bed with 10 minutes remaining, rifling home his sixth goal of the season. After collecting a pass from Benji Michel, Nani sent a bending ball from outside the box into the far side past John McCarthy.

Match Notes:

  • With his helper on Chris Mueller’s goal, Nani recorded his third assist over the last two matches. The forward also helped set up both of Daryl Dike’s goals just three days ago, when the Lions defeated visiting San Jose Earthquakes 5-0 on Tuesday.
  • Nani has also recorded goals in three-straight matches, scoring from the run of play versus both Miami and Toronto FC, and recording a penalty-kick goal against San Jose. The forward has had a hand in six of the Lions’ last nine goals, totaling three goals and three assists over that span.
  • Chris Mueller scored his first goal of the season on Friday, upping his career regular-season total to 19. With the score, the forward has now recorded goal contributions in three-straight matches after tallying an assist in each of the Club’s previous two games.
  • Each of the five all-time regular season meetings between the two sides has been decided by a difference of one goal, with the Lions’ taking the all-time series advantage 3-2-0 with Friday’s victory.
  • Friday’s win marked City’s first three points in Fort Lauderdale and the first time in the series that the visiting side took the win.
  • Coming in as a 77th minute substitute, Uri Rosell made his 95th MLS appearance and his 52nd in an Orlando City uniform.
Next Match: The Lions return to Exploria Stadium for a matchup with the New York Red Bulls, hosting the side on Saturday, July 3 in a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff. Tickets are available at OrlandoCitySC.com.
Teams 1 2 F
Orlando City SC 0 2 2
Inter Miami CF 0 1 1
Scoring Summary:
MIA – 
Gonzalo Higuain (Jay Chapman) 67’
ORL – Chris Mueller (Nani, Robin Jansson) 73’
ORL – Nani (Benji Michel) 80’

Misconduct Summary:
ORL – 
Mauricio Pereyra (Yellow Card) 10’
ORL – Junior Urso (Yellow Card) 62’
MIA – Victor Ulloa (Yellow Card) 62’
MIA – Blaise Matuidi (Yellow Card) 71’
ORL – Chris Mueller (Yellow Card) 79’
MIA – Leandro Gonzalez Pirez (Yellow Card) 79’

Lineups/Substitutions:

Orlando City SC – GK Brandon Austin; D Kyle Smith, Robin Jansson, Antonio Carlos, Michael Halliday; M Mauricio Pereyra (Chris Mueller 46’), Júnior Urso (Uri Rosell 77’), Andrés Perea, Silvester Van der Water (Benji Michel 46’); F Nani © (Joey DeZart 84’), Daryl Dike (Tesho Akindele 64’)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Mason Stajduhar; D Rio Hope-Gund; F Alexander Alvarado, Matheus Aias

Inter Miami CF – GK John McCarthy; D Christian Makoun (Federico Higuain 84’), Nicolas Figal, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Kelvin Leerdam; M Lewis Morgan, Blaise Matuidi, Victor Ulloa ©; F Jay Chapman, Brek Shea, (Rodolfo Pizarro 61’) Julian Carranza (Gonzalo Higuain 61’)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Dylan Castanheira; D Joevin Jones; M Joshua Penn

Details of the Game:
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Weather: Clear
Date: June 25, 2021

Stats:

Possession:
ORL 
– 47.1%
MIA – 52.9%

Shots:
ORL 
– 11
MIA – 10

Saves:
ORL 
– 2
MIA – 4

Fouls:
ORL 
– 9
MIA – 8

Corners:
ORL 
– 4
MIA – 5

Heineken Man of the Match: Nani