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Inter Miami CF earned a crucial 3-2 home win over reigning champions New York City FC at DRV PNK Stadium on Saturday night, extending the team’s unbeaten run to four. Heineken Man of the Match Alejandro Pozuelo scored a brace and second-half substitute Ariel Lassiter scored Inter Miami’s other goal tonight to claim the three points and extend the team’s positive run at home, having fallen only once in its past 11 outings at DRV PNK Stadium.

Lineup Notes

Inter Miami returned to action following MLS All-Star Week with a strong starting XI. Drake Callender started in goal; Chris McVey, Damion Lowe and Kieran Gibbs lined up in the center of defense with DeAndre Yedlin and Robert Taylor in front of them as wingbacks; captain Gregore and Jean Mota slotted into midfield; Bryce Duke and Pozuelo lined up behind Gonzalo Higuaín in attack.

Gibbs and Lowe returned to the starting XI for tonight’s game, while defender / midfielder Brek Shea returned to a First Team matchday squad for the first time since the match against LAFC on March 12 after recovering from an injury. Yedlin, meanwhile, retained his spot in the starting XI after featuring in the MLS All-Star Game earlier this week.

Match Action

The hosts had the first major chance of the night at the 11-minute mark; Mota hit a perfect long ball to Taylor behind the defense, who controlled with a soft first touch to beat his defender before curling a strike on target that Sean Johnson denied with a diving save.

In the 34th minute, though, New York opened the scoring from a set piece. Maxi Moralez clipped a free kick to Maxime Chanot at the far post, who headed it back to Talles Magno and the Brazilian hit a driven shot across goal, off the post and into the back of the net to make it 0-1.

Inter Miami responded just five minutes later. Pozuelo played a one-two with Duke, who released his perfectly timed pass between a pair of defenders and found Pozuelo at the top of the box, where the Spaniard then curled a strike inside the post to equalize. The goal was Pozuelo’s first for Inter Miami and fifth of the season in MLS, while the assist was Duke’s sixth.

The visitors then reclaimed their lead just before halftime after a scramble in the box and multiple blocks, when Thiago latched onto the loose ball and fired it into the back of the net to make it 1-2.

Early in the second half, Neville made a trio of substitutions that helped the hosts respond to the deficit, bringing on Lassiter, Ryan Sailor, and Indiana Vassilev for Duke, Gibbs and Taylor. In the 63rd minute, Mota hits a ball toward the box that Pozuelo deftly flicked on with his head to find Higuaín, who turned and clipped a ball into Lassiter in front of goal, where the Costa Rican then turned and fired his shot past Johnson to make it 2-2. The goal marked Lassiter’s second of the season in MLS while the assist was Higuaín’s second and the secondary assist marked Pozuelo’s third assist for Inter Miami and eighth of the campaign.

Then, in the 84th minute, Pozuelo pounced to intercept a back pass from New York and fired Inter Miami into the lead. The late goal marked his second of the night, second for the team, and sixth of the season in MLS. It also boosted his stellar record against NYCFC, taking him to nine goals and five assists in 12 matches across all competitions against the reigning MLS champions.

Inter Miami held onto its lead and claimed a crucial three points at home for its playoff hopes.

Heineken Man of the Match

Pozuelo earned Man of the Match honors after his brace, consisting of his first two goals for the club including a late winner, powered Inter Miami to three points.

Post-Match Reaction

"I’m super proud tonight. I think that was a big performance," said head coach Phil Neville. "We’re now down to nine games. What I've said to them in there is that we treated today as the last game of our season. Against Toronto, again, it will be like the last game of our season. We’ve got to treat every game now, as if the next game is the most important."

Inter Miami Celebrates Little Haiti FC

Little Haiti FC is a non-profit fully funded youth soccer program in South Florida. For the first time, all of their players have been accepted to college and to help them celebrate this achievement, Inter Miami gifted each of the players a computer as they head off to college in the coming weeks. Aleyda and Jorge Mas along with Chairwoman Christine King presented the laptops to the recipients just before kickoff. U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach Gregg Berhalter posed for a photo op with Mas and the recipients.

Inter Miami CF and Little Haiti
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Next Match

The team will remain at home for its next MLS fixture, when Inter Miami will host Toronto FC on Saturday, Aug. 20 at DRV PNK Stadium at 8 p.m. ET in what will be the first meeting of two between the sides in the 2022 regular season.

Individual match tickets for each remaining regular season home match on the Inter Miami CF schedule are available by visiting https://www.intermiamicf.com/tickets/single. Fans can also call 305-428-0611 to learn more.

Stats

Possession:
MIA -
43%

NYC - 57%

Shots:
MIA -
11

NYC - 17

Saves:
MIA -
3

NYC - 3

Corners:
MIA -
0

NYC - 10

Fouls:
MIA -
14

NYC - 12