Inter Miami CF (9W-17L-6D, 33 points) fell 0-1 against FC Cincinnati at DRV PNK Stadium on Saturday night. With the loss, the team’s playoff push came to an end mathematically.
Drake Callender started in goal; Sergii Kryvtsov, Kamal Miller and Tomás Avilés formed a back three with DeAndre Yedlin and Noah Allen playing as wingbacks; David Ruiz, Sergio Busquets and Benjamin Cremaschi started in midfield; Facundo Farías and Josef Martínez led the team in attack.
Inter Miami kicked off the match with a dynamic attacking performance creating numerous opportunities throughout the half, while also defending stoutly on the other end of the pitch.
Notably, Inter Miami hit the woodwork three different times during the first 45 minutes, with an acrobatic attempt from Avilés in the ninth minute, a shot from the edge of the box from Martínez in the 22nd minute and a finish from Cremaschi inside the box in the 24th minute being inches away from giving the hosts the go ahead goal. Despite the team’s persistence in attack the match went into the half scoreless.
The second half presented a more even matchup, with Inter Miami having to intervene more defensively. Callender came up big several times throughout the half; the goalkeeper notably reacted quickly inside the box to stop back-to-back attempts from Santiago Arias and Aaron Boupendza in the 50th minute.
Inter Miami then made a double substitution in the 55th minute to spark the team’s attack, with captain Lionel Messi and midfielder Jean Mota replacing Avilés and Ruiz. The appearance marked Messi’s return after last playing in the win against Toronto FC on Sept. 20.
It was Cincinnati, however, that found the opener. The visitors took the lead in the 78th minute through a goal from Álvaro Barreal.
Despite the team’s efforts throughout the remaining minutes, the 0-1 scoreline remained unmoved. With the loss Inter Miami’s hopes of advancing to playoffs came to an end.
"We should have taken the lead in the first half, and from my point of view, talking specifically about fútbol, we had one of the best first halves we’ve played recently and were better. The second half was another story" said head coach Gerardo 'Tata' Martino. “Now we need to work on what lies ahead… we need to be precise and solid when analyzing how prepared we are heading into next season.”
Fan of the Match presented by Coca-Cola Zero Sugar
Next Inter Miami will have a bye week before hosting Charlotte FC at DRV PNK Stadium at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Oct. 18 in the team's second to last match of the 2023 regular season.
MIA - 61.6%
CIN - 38.4%
MIA - 16
CIN - 13
MIA - 5
CIN - 2
MIA - 8
CIN - 5
MIA - 12
CIN - 14