Inter Miami CF earned a crucial 2-1 victory over Orlando City SC in front of a limited number of Season Ticket Members at Inter Miami CF Stadium. A crucial late save from goalkeeper John McCarthy and an 89th minute winner from Leandro González Pirez sealed the victory for the hosts in a dramatic match.
“It was a special match, a Florida clasico against Orlando. It came down to the final stages of the match, the last few minutes, so it was a special clasico,” said González Pirez. “On a personal level it was very nice, but I’m most happy for the group because we fought for 90 minutes, we looked for the win the whole time and to me it seemed we deserved more...I think we were deserved winners, we did what we could and had a little bit of luck on our side and it got us three huge points with just a few matches left.”
“[I feel] grateful. I think a lot of times we’ve been super super unlucky, or something doesn’t go our way and a guy would score there and we would lose that game 2-1. So, for us to go down and win 2-1, and score our first [indirect] set piece goal of the season, I think it was just like, ‘finally man.’ It’s a great feeling to have,” added McCarthy. “The guys pushed for 90 minutes, never gave up, and I think the fans really pushed us too. It’s a great feeling to have, we’re going to try to enjoy it for the next couple of hours and then onto Dallas.”
The pair was also thankful for the support of the fans in the stadium, citing the energy they provided as a big factor in the match.
“It was an amazing thing to experience and I’m grateful the fans showed up and pushed us for 90 minutes,” said McCarthy. “The best way to show your support for the fans is to get them three points and we did everything we could to get that. I’m just happy we won for them, for ourselves and for the staff.”
“It’s nice for a player to be able to score, and on top of that do so in a stadium with fans. They energized us and supported us for the entire match,” said LGP.
McCarthy and González Pirez each took a moment to reflect on their standout plays, vocalizing what they saw in those moments and how they felt.
“I remember going into the box, I watched the screen and it said 88 minutes or so. I looked up and said, ‘please, this has to be it for us.’ When I saw that Lewis [Morgan’s] cross was perfect, and we had a play where everyone went to the first post, and I saw the space between [Júnior] Urso and [Antônio] Carlos, I won the header,” said González Pirez.
“I tried making the best play, it was just a reaction thing, and then I saw the Orlando player run up to it and I tried making myself as big as possible. Luckily it hit me in my leg,” concluded McCarthy.