Inter Miami CF (9W-5D-14L, 32 points) narrowly fell 1-0 to the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night.
Inter Miami made three changes to the starting lineup from its last match; Kelvin Leerdam and Blaise Matuidi returned to the XI while Aimé Mabika, who signed on a short-term loan for the match as Inter Miami was eligible for Extreme Hardship, started and made his First Team debut. The trio came into the XI in place of the injured Nicolás Figal and Gregore, as well as Christian Makoun who was on international duty with Venezuela.
Mabika marked his debut with early defensive interventions, including a pair of defensive headers to help deny attacking moves by New York in the 12th minute.
In the 16th minute, Inter Miami created its first attacking opportunity of the match; a ball over the top fell to Gonzalo Higuaín, who turned and slid a pass to Robbie Robinson in the box, but his shot was deflected and went just wide.
In the 25th minute, however, the hosts took the lead; Andrew Gutman won the ball in Inter Miami’s half and played a quick pass to Patryk Klimala in the box, who slotted a shot into the back of the net to make it 1-0.
The final 20 minutes of the first half ticked away without any additional goals, thanks in part to a reaction save by Nick Marsman in the 37th minute on a close-range header.
Inter Miami opened the second half on the front foot, creating an early chance just six minutes in when Rodolfo Pizarro crossed a ball from the right wing to Brek Shea in the box, who volleyed a shot just wide.
The team appeared to have its equalizer in the 60th minute as Higuaín’s shot was deflected into the back of the net by a Red Bulls player, but the goal was disallowed as the referee called for offside.
Despite continued pressure from the visitors, including a dangerous 95th minute header from Indiana Vassilev, the match ended 1-0 in favor of the New York Red Bulls.
"Ultimately, the final message is, keep our discipline, keep our shape, make sure that we keep the belief that we’ve got and we’ve got to keep going for it. That’s the only way you can do in football," said head coach Phil Neville.
Inter Miami will conclude its road trip next Saturday, Oct. 16 at 6 p.m. ET when it travels to face the reigning champion Columbus Crew at Lower.com Field.