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Inter Miami CF finished its first-ever participation in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup by falling in penalties against Orlando City SC at Exploria Stadium on Wednesday night. The match ended 1-1 after extra time, with midfielder Jean Mota scoring the team’s goal courtesy of an assist by defender Joevin Jones. The goal was Mota’s first as an Inter Miami player, and the assist from Jones was also a first with the club.

Lineup Notes

Neville, who was named MLS Coach of the Week on Monday, lined up an XI featuring goalkeeper Drake Callender, who secured back-to-back appearances in the MLS Team of the Week; Victor Ulloa, after registering his first assist of the year last match, Damion Lowe, Aimé Mabika and Chris McVey at the back; captain Gregore, Mota and Robert Taylor, who netted his first Inter Miami goal over the weekend, in midfield; and Emerson Rodríguez and Indiana Vassilev started on the wings, flanking striker Gonzalo Higuaín.

Match Action

It was a back and forth first 45 minutes with both teams searching for the opener. It was the hosts, though, that generated more danger in the opening stages, but a solid defensive unit led by Callender denied Orlando’s offense. The keeper registered three saves in the first half, including a crucial save to tip away a powerful right-footed shot by Ruan inside the box in the 31st minute and a diving save to stop Jhegson Méndez’s long distance strike in the 40th minute.

Inter Miami’s closest attempt came in the 31st minute of action; Taylor slid an inch-perfect ball into space on the right side of the pitch to find Vassilev’s run, who then split two defenders and finished with his right from outside the box, but his shot was flicked away by the keeper before bouncing off the post. Despite both team’s persistence on the offensive end, the match went scoreless into the halftime intermission.

The second half followed suit, with both teams generating danger on the offensive end throughout the 45 minutes. 

The match went into extra time scoreless after the 90 minutes, marking the first time in club history that Inter Miami had to play the two extra 15-minute periods.

Inter Miami started off the extra time on the right foot, taking the lead four minutes into the action. Jones, who came on in the second half of the match, laid the ball off to Mota on the right side just outside the box, who hit a first time curved shot at the near post to send the ball into the back of the net and give the team a 0-1 lead. It was Mota’s first goal as an Inter Miami player, while the assist was also Jones’ first for the club.

The hosts, however, responder shortly after by leveling the scoring in the 97th minute; a one two play between Júnior Urso and Facundo Torres on the left end of the field left Torres in possession just outside the box, who then took a few touches to his left before curving the ball into the back of the net to tie the match.

After the 30 minutes of extra time the match remained tied at one goal a piece, sending it to a penalty shootout, the first in Inter Miami CF history.

In the end, Inter Miami then fell 4-2 in the penalty shootout, ending the team’s run in its first-ever in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

Prematch Moment of Silence and Armbands

Inter Miami and Orlando City observed a moment of silence prior to tonight’s U.S. Open Cup match. The clubs also wore black armbands in solidarity with the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas. 

Our hearts are filled with sadness and our thoughts and prayers are with the families, loved ones, and communities affected.

Post-Match Reaction

“We created the best chances. It was a typical derby game. I thought it was a hell of a game of football played between two teams that just wanted to win it,” said head coach Phil Neville. “I gotta say that even though it’s a defeat on penalties, it doesn't feel like we’ve lost the game because of the game we’ve conducted ourselves, we behaved under difficult circumstances… I’m super proud of my players, they’re hurting in the dressing room, some are really upset they’ve missed their penalties but we’re proud, and now we gotta move on to Portland very quickly.”

Next Match

Inter Miami will face a quick turnaround as it returns home to face the Portland Timbers on Saturday, May 28 at 8 p.m. ET at DRV PNK Stadium. The match will broadcast on CBS4, UniMás, the Inter Miami App and 790 AM The Ticket. 

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:
ORL -
64.7%

MIA - 35.3%

Shots:
ORL -
28

MIA - 12

Saves:
ORL -
1

MIA - 5

Corners:
ORL -
12

MIA - 3

Fouls:
ORL -
17

MIA - 26