Inter Miami CF completed its participation in the group stage of the MLS is Back Tournament with an early match against New York City FC. The expansion team fell 1-0 to NYCFC in the matchup that kicked off at 9 a.m. ET at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
With the loss Inter Miami is eliminated from the MLS is Back Tournament. The Club plans to return to regular season action for its inaugural season following the completion of the tournament. Details are expected to be announced at a later date.
“We have things to improve. We're self-critical and we have to do more. Now we have a number of weeks of work and expect to then start the regular season,” said Manager Diego Alonso. “You have to know how to react. When the road is tough, only the tough ones walk. We have a clear direction and obligation.”
It was Inter Miami who threatened in attack right from the opening moments of the match, entering the NYCFC box through intricate buildup play from Designated Players Matías Pellegrini and Rodolfo Pizarro in the fourth minute. Six minutes later, the team had its first shot on target when a cross from rookie right back Dylan Nealis reached Juan Agudelo in the box; his header was heading towards the bottom corner of the net before NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson made a diving save.
Inter Miami again threatened in the air in the 35th minute of the match when a precise left-footed Lewis Morgan free kick delivery reached the head of Nicolás Figal in the box. His header was also on target and saved by Johnson.
One of the final actions of the first half saw Inter Miami threaten on the ground when Morgan dribbled past a defender and struck a powerful right-footed shot across goal that flew just over the bar.
NYCFC pushed forward in the early stages of the second half; in the 56th minute Román Torres made a pair of crucial defensive interventions, stopping driving runs from New York attackers. A few minutes later Inter Miami looked to have a possible goal as Agudelo struck past the keeper, but he was called offside.
New York took the lead in the 64th minute when a long ball from Alexandru Mitriță reached Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, whose shot found the back of the net.
Inter Miami looked to put pressure on by making a triple change in the 68th minute, bringing on Lee Nguyen, Julián Carranza and Ben Sweat for Pellegrini, Wil Trapp and Mikey Ambrose respectively.
Luis Robles made his first save of the match in the 72nd minute, diving low and to his left to make a save on a driven shot from Keaton Parks. Six minutes later the team made two more changes, bringing on Jay Chapman for Victor Ulloa and Alvas Powell for Dylan Nealis.
Torres made one more critical tackle in the 86th minute, tracking back and making a tackle on the last man down field after a long run. In the 90th minute, Agudelo was sent off after picking up a second yellow card.
Inter Miami had an extended spell of possession as the clock ticked down, but was unable to capitalize. The match remained 1-0 in favor of NYCFC at the final whistle.
Defenders Mikey Ambrose and Dylan Nealis, and forward Juan Agudelo returned to the starting lineup following one game away. The trio previously started in the opening match of the tournament against Orlando City SC. Young Colombian center back Andrés Reyes was unavailable for the match as he served a red card suspension.