Inter Miami CF II earned a 0-1 win over FC Cincinnati 2 on a sunny Saturday afternoon at NKU Stadium. Tyler Bagley’s first goal for the team and a penalty save by Andre Zuluaga were decisive in the match.
The starting line up featured First Team loanees Edison Azcona and Ryan Sailor. This match marked the first appearance for 2022 MLS SuperDraft pick Sailor for Inter Miami. The fixture also marked the first appearance and start this season for goalkeeper Zuluaga, a product of the Inter Miami CF Academy. Additionally, the match marked the first start for Bagley, who made his debut for the team as a substitute in its previous match.
The first half kicked off with Inter Miami CF II creating multiple creative plays in the attacking half as the team looked hungry to bounce back from a defeat in its last match.
There were several close calls from FC Cincinnati 2, but Zuluaga and the team’s defense denied the hosts. Notably, in the 21st minute, a penalty kick struck by Avionne Flannigan almost finds its way into the net, but a quick dice to the left by Zuluaga denied a chance for the hosts to open up the scoring.
Inter Miami CF II was quick to return the scare with a free kick by Tyler Bagley in the 28th minute; Bagley struck a ball that skimmed over the bar and just out of reach for the Cincinnati goalkeeper Beckham Sunderland’s fingers.
Another chance for FC Cincinnati 2 came in the 34th minute with two back-to-back shots on goal, but Zuluaga shielded the net to maintain the scoreline.
In the 39th minute, the team set up in the box where Lawson Sunderland held the ball up well before finding Bagley outside of the box, who curled a perfect shot into the bottom corner of the net for the 0-1 lead. Inter Miami CF II took the lead from the competitors entering halftime, awarding Bagley his first goal for the club and Sunderland his first assist.
The second half saw an evenly matched FC Cincinnati looking to answer for their visitor’s goal, but thanks to stout defending they were unable to equalize. Inter Miami CF II held its 0-1 lead through the final whistle, earning three points on the road.
The match also marked another professional debut for an Inter Miami CF II player, as Israel Boatwright came on as a second-half substitute for Logan Batiste. Boatwright’s professional debut comes just shortly after being named to the 2022 Generation adidas Cup Best XI.
The fixture also featured several familial ties at play. Midfielder Lawson Sunderland started against his brother Beckham Sunderland, FC Cincinnati 2’s starting goalkeeper. Cincinnati also started Kai Thomas, who is a former Inter Miami CF Academy player and the brother of Inter Miami CF II and Academy player Kobi Thomas. Lastly, brothers Ethan and Drew Hardin featured together for the club as both were substituted on in the second half.
The road trip continues for Inter Miami CF II next week as the team is set to visit New England Revolution II at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, May 1 at 1 p.m. ET.