Inter Miami CF II (4W-8L-2D, 14 points) came away with a draw against Toronto FC II at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Sunday evening. The visiting team earned the extra point in penalties.
The match featured the MLS NEXT Pro debut of 16-year-old Santiago Morales, who most recently trained with the United States men’s youth national team for the U-17 World Cup this fall.
The Herons’ starting XI featured Owen Finnerty in goal once again with Israel Boatwright, Farid Sar-Sar, Tyler Hall, and Cesar Abadia-Reda starting on defense for Miami; Abel Caputo and Lawson Sunderland in midfield with Miles Perkovich and Alejandro Flores, and Lucas Meek and Bryan Destin leading the attack.
In the first half, both teams fought for control of the ball throughout the first 15 minutes, with Finnerty making a pair of saves on Toronto shots towards goal. In the 19th minute, Destin nearly put Miami ahead on a breakaway, with a right-footed shot that went off the post and out. But this was a sign of good things to come for The Herons, as Sunderland found the back of the net in the 38th minute with an assist from Meek, putting Miami ahead 1-0 going into halftime.
As the second half began, Miami sought to maintain control of the match and come away with the victory. However, early in the half, Toronto’s forward, Reshaun Walkes, drew a penalty in the box on a break towards goal. Forward Jesús Batiz converted from the spot to bring Toronto level. The visiting team continued to fight for a lead in the match, but Finnerty was able to keep the match level after stopping five of six shots he faced in regulation.
Inter Miami went four for seven on penalties with credit to a pair of big saves from Toronto’s goalkeeper, Greg Ranjitsingh. After a pair of missed shots from Toronto, the away side ultimately won on penalties after Miami’s seventh shot hit the crossbar, giving Toronto the extra point.
Inter Miami CF II will hit the road next, visiting Huntsville City FC at Joe Davis Stadium in Huntsville, Alabama for more MLS NEXT Pro action. Kickoff time is set for Sunday, June 18 at 7 p.m. ET.