Inter Miami CF II defeated Rochester New York FC 2-1 on Sunday, August 21 at DRV PNK Stadium in MLS NEXT Pro action. Entering the game in sixth and fifth positions in the MLS NEXT Pro Eastern Conference standings respectively, Inter Miami CF II and Rochester New York FC both eyed playoff contention ahead of the evening’s match. Inter Miami moves two points ahead of Rochester and above the playoff line into third place by earning all three points on the night, and brings its current unbeaten streak to eight games. During this eight game run, Inter Miami has earned 19 points.
Darren Powell’s men took the field with Nick Marsman in goal; Logan Batiste, Modesto Mendez, Aimé Mabika and Noah Allen in defense; David Ruiz, Lawson Sunderland and George Acosta manning the midfield; Romeo Beckham and Joevin Jones flanking either side of Shanyder Borgelin in the attacking line.
Abel Caputo replaced Aimé Mabika in the 20th minute, as the Zambian international left the game due to injury. The first half ended goalless, with both teams prodding and poking at each other’s defense. The Inter Miami II defense held firm, denying Rochester NY any significant attempt on goal. The IMCF II offense created a few moments of its own, with Jones and Acosta combining to provide a through ball for Allen that resulted in a corner for the Herons. Borgelin also made his presence felt, keeping pressure on the Rochester defense throughout the match.
The action resumed as the teams swapped ends of the pitch to start the second half. The 54th minute saw a major defensive effort from Borgelin, as he cleared the ball before Marsman produced an athletic save to prevent a goalscoring opportunity for Rochester.
Seconds later, Beckham played a long, driven ball through to Borgelin in the opponents’ final third, who muscled his way past two defenders before squaring the ball to Acosta, who pounced on the chance to give the hosts the lead. Acosta’s strike in the 54th minute was his first goal for the club.
The hour mark saw midfielder Braxton Najib and forward Dairon Reyes enter the game for Jones and Acosta. Borgelin, Beckham and the Inter Miami offense would continue to torment the Rochester defense, repeatedly combining to create chances past their back line.
Their persistence would provide dividends in the 66th minute, as Ruiz fended off multiple opposing players in the center of the pitch to play a through ball to Beckham, who squared the ball for Borgelin to finish coolly past the maneuver. The strike brought Borgelin’s season tally to 12 goals, tied for fifth highest in the league. Beckham’s assist on the night is his third in the last three games, bringing his league leading assist tally to 10.
Sunderland ended his shift for the evening in the 81st minute, being substituted off for Benjamin Cremaschi. Soon after, Tyler Bagley and Shaan Hundal entered the game, replacing Borgelin and Batiste.
Edward Williams would claw one back for Rochester New York in the 90th minute off of a free kick, scoring his second goal of the season.
Inter Miami would continue to keep the pressure on Rochester despite conceding the goal, creating yet another chance in stoppage time that fell to Reyes and Cremaschi, but was saved each time.
A late Rochester red card for Lamar Batista would ensure that Inter Miami II saw the game out to victory, and all three points.
Inter Miami CF II faces Toronto FC II in its next game in the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro season, on Saturday, September 3, at 7 p.m. ET at DRV PNK Stadium.