Orlando City SC draws a tough one in Inter Miami CF

May 15, 2024; Orlando, Florida, USA; Orlando City midfielder Cesar Araújo (5) plays the ball defense
May 15, 2024; Orlando, Florida, USA; Orlando City midfielder Cesar Araújo (5) plays the ball defense / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit

Orlando City SC didn’t get a win in their mid-week game. But the squad held Inter Miami CF – the top team in the East – scoreless.

They were visited by the top team in MLS Eastern Conference. Yes, the visitors lacked superstar striker and captain Lionel Messi. But all the smart money said 8-2-3 Inter Miami CF would travel to 3-5-3 Orlando City SC and still beat the home team.

After 90 minutes, both teams left the pitch in a 0-0 draw and with a point each.

That’s 90 minutes plus four stoppage-time minutes in the second half. After the previous match where Orlando suffered an outrageous added 18 minutes, everyone was watching. Except Orlando players weren’t just watching. They were creating chances and attacking Miami’s net.

Inter Miami just held onto their draw and made no attempts during the extra minutes.

May 15, 2024; Orlando, Florida, USA; Inter Miami forward Leonardo Campana (8) plays the ball over
May 15, 2024; Orlando, Florida, USA; Inter Miami forward Leonardo Campana (8) plays the ball over / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

SC attempted three shots during the added minutes. That was while tirelessly defending their net. The last shot attempt of the game was a long one by forward Yutaro Tsukada. Recently out of West Virginia University, he was just signed to a short-term agreement from Orlando City B.

As the match's final seconds ticked away, Tsukada fired a missile toward the goal that glided high and to the left. If the team holds onto him longer, he'd like another chance at a game-winner.

Orlando once again prevented a team from trying to beat them with a back-three formation. They did that by choosing the three-defender lineup first as their go-to formation. And it served the squad well.

The formation requires extra stamina from the wingers, who must drop back as hybrid defenders whenever necessary. Yet Orlando City SC kept energy up for the entire 90 minutes. In the final period stoppage time, Inter Miami merely plugged up their own goal and didn’t get off any shots.

With all expectations from this match for a Miami win, the one point award for Orlando wasn’t a disappointment. Inter Miami is an outstanding opponent, even with Messi out nursing an injury.

Miami leads the league in goals. It’s the first time Miami failed to score in a match since March 23 and their first draw since April 6. It’s also the first clean sheet for Orlando goalkeeper Pedro Gallese since March 23.

So Orlando City SC has shown what the squad can accomplish by training well with focused drills. They’ll meet some other teams as accomplished as Inter Miami CF.

So keep it up and enjoy the success.

Comment to @chuckx777