Inter Miami CF earned a resounding 2-0 victory over CF Montréal in its 2023 season opener in front of a large and passionate group of supporters at DRV PNK Stadium on Saturday night; the 17,655 fans in attendance marked the largest crowd in an Inter Miami home opener in the Club’s first four years. The team was led to the result by goals from a pair of debutantes in Heineken Star of the Match Sergii Kryvtsov and Homegrown striker Shanyder Borgelin.
Inter Miami opened its 2023 campaign with a starting XI featuring four debutantes. Drake Callender started in goal; DeAndre Yedlin, Kryvtsov, Chris McVey and Franco Negri lined up in defense; the Brazilian midfield duo of captain Gregore and Jean Mota formed the team’s double pivot in midfield with Corentin Jean, Nicolás Stefanelli and Rodolfo Pizarro in front of them; Venezuelan international Josef Martínez led the team in attack.
Kryvtsov, Martínez, Negri and Stefanelli made their official Inter Miami debuts as part of the starting XI. Pizarro also marked his return to the team with a start following his loan spell in his native Mexico in 2022.
Inter Miami controlled possession in the match from its early stages, consistently probing the CF Montréal defense in search of the final ball. The first major intervention for the hosts, however, came in the 11th minute when Callender got low to make a crucial save, parrying away a shot by Sunusi Ibrahim.
The breakthrough for Inter Miami came in the 41st minute; Mota took a corner to the near post that was flicked on by his compatriot Gregore, finding Kryvtsov in front of goal, where the Ukrainian international made no mistake. The goal marked Kryvtsov’s first on his debut and the first of the season for the team. Gregore and Mota, meanwhile, marked their first assist and secondary assist of the season, respectively.
The second half was another full of milestones, including more Inter Miami debuts. Notably, two recent Homegrown Player signings, Borgelin and Benjamin Cremaschi came on to make their MLS debuts. Borgelin marked his debut in his hometown with his first MLS goal, netting in the 76th minute to expand the hosts’ lead and seal the 2-0 victory at DRV PNK Stadium. The goal made Borgelin the first Inter Miami Homegrown Player to score on his MLS debut.
Heineken Star of the Match
Newcomer Kryvtsov had a dream debut, netting the first goal of the match and guiding the team to victory with stout defending. This was enough to be voted the first Heineken Star of the Match of 2023.
"This franchise has never won their first game of the season, so I think today we overcame a psychological barrier. This gives us all a boost. I thought the support and the atmosphere was really special," said Neville. "We spoke before the game about the start of the journey, I do feel that this isn't the start of the journey, I feel that it's a continuation of the journey we started last season."
Next Inter Miami will face the reigning Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia Union at home on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
MIA - 44%
MTL - 56%
MIA - 18
MTL - 14
MIA - 6
MTL - 6
MIA - 4
MTL - 4
MIA - 12
MTL - 12