Breakdowns at both ends of the pitch drop Internacional to fourth defeat in as many games.
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (July 15, 2020) — No one ever said it would be a piece of cake, but the inaugural season of Inter Miami has been a recipe of missing ingredients thus far. Internacional was back in action on Tuesday evening at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, a late-night affair that saw the Rosanegro fall to the Philadelphia Union 2-1, a loss which sends Inter Miami to 0-0-4 on the abbreviated 2020 season. It was another tough loss for the nascent team, adding further to the team’s and fans’ frustrations.
Manager Diego Alonso lined Inter Miami up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, preferring Julián Carranza up top in place of Juan Agudelo, who was left off the squad. It was the young Argentine’s first start in pink and black, although he only produced two shots (1 on target) in the game. Rodolfo Pizarro also started and fortunately his only shot on target was a goal.
Inter Miami’s play on Tuesday night was again inconsistent, with breakdowns occurring on both sides of the ball. Though Philadelphia was far from turning in their best performance, they took advantage of chances that were presented to them and converted.
The troubles began early on. An attempted cross in the fifth minute from Philadelphia’s Brenden Aaronson was deflected. The ball took a bounce and skipped through the penalty box without an Inter Miami player getting a touch on it. It was recovered by Union defender Kai Wagner, who sent a shot in that went through Luis Robles’ outstretched hands. It was Wagner’s first goal and gave Philadelphia the early advantage, 1-0.
A bright spot on the campaign, Lewis Morgan was once again one of the club’s best performers, contributing 11 crosses during the game, and was part of the scoring sequence that led to Inter Miami’s only goal on the night. The 36th minute saw Miami gain possession and launch a counterattack. Morgan dribbled up the centre of the pitch before crossing the ball over to Pizarro, who in turn passed the ball back to the Scottish winger. Morgan then sent the ball to the left flank to Matías Pellegrini, with the Argentine midfielder sending the ball in front of the goal to Pizarro, who directed it into the far side corner of the net for the equaliser. It was both beautiful to watch and Internacional’s best moment of the season so far.https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
It was all square at the half, 1-1. As the second half got under way, things looked promising for Inter Miami. They enjoyed possession and more importantly, maintained that possession on the Union’s side of the pitch. Nevertheless, possession means little if it doesn’t result in goals, and Internacional was unable to produce a goal.
In the 63rd, Inter Miami missed another opportunity, one which would result in their undoing. Julián Carranza had a shot blocked after a corner. The Union quickly counter-attacked with Brenden Aaronson quickly breaking forward, finding Kacper Przybylko at the edge of the box. The striker made a slight turn in, stepping past defender Ben Sweat and scored with a clinical finish. It would be a lead Philadelphia would hold onto for the rest of the night to earn their second victory in as many outings in the tournament.
Inter Miami did not give up and in the 76th minute thought they had a lifeline when referee Silviu Petrescu whistled and pointed to the spot for an alleged hand ball. After the play was reviewed by VAR, the referee’s decision was overruled as there had clearly been no contact by the Union defender. Late in the match brought one final moment of drama as Román Torres hit the crossbar in the 83rd minute after a Morgan corner kick.
With the 2-1 loss in their second match of the MLS is Back tournament, Inter Miami have only a small chance of advancing to the tournament’s 16-team knockout stage.
Post Game Reflections
Inter Miami showed moments of cohesiveness, and improved in some statistical areas, finishing with 10 total shots: four on goal, four were off target and two blocked shots. Nicolas Figal led all Rosanegro players with 93 touches on the ball in addition to being the top-rated Inter Miami player on the night.
“We had many chances and opportunities to take the lead,” Inter Miami coach Diego Alonso said, “but we didn’t finish those chances so we had mistakes on both ends.”
“It was frustrating,” Alonso said, “because we lost the game with a mistake.”
“We play a sport where the small margins are the difference,” Inter Miami midfielder Wil Trapp said. “[Tuesday] night we made a couple of mistakes and they punished us.”
Detailed Match Statistics and Player Ratings via WhoScored.com
|90’+9′||Second Half ends, Philadelphia Union 2, Inter Miami CF 1.|
|90’+8′||Second yellow card to Andrés Reyes (Inter Miami CF) for a bad foul.|
|90′||Substitution, Philadelphia Union. Jack Elliott replaces Brenden Aaronson because of an injury.|
|87′||Substitution, Inter Miami CF. Mikey Ambrose replaces Ben Sweat.|
|87′||Substitution, Inter Miami CF. Jay Chapman replaces Victor Ulloa.|
|81′||Substitution, Philadelphia Union. Anthony Fontana replaces Jamiro Monteiro.|
|77′||VAR Decision: No Penalty Inter Miami CF.|
|72′||Substitution, Philadelphia Union. Warren Creavalle replaces José Martínez because of an injury.|
|68′||Substitution, Inter Miami CF. Jerome Kiesewetter replaces Matías Pellegrini.|
|68′||Substitution, Inter Miami CF. Lee Nguyen replaces Wil Trapp.|
|67′||Andrés Reyes (Inter Miami CF) is shown the yellow card.|
|63′||Goal! Philadelphia Union 2, Inter Miami CF 1. Kacper Przybylko (Philadelphia Union) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Brenden Aaronson following a fast break.|
|45′||Start 2nd Half|
|45′||Substitution, Philadelphia Union. Ilsinho replaces Sergio Santos.|
|38′||Wil Trapp (Inter Miami CF) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.|
|36′||Goal! Philadelphia Union 1, Inter Miami CF 1. Rodolfo Pizarro (Inter Miami CF) left footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Matías Pellegrini.|
|27′||José Martínez (Philadelphia Union) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.|
|5′||Goal! Philadelphia Union 1, Inter Miami CF 0. Kai Wagner (Philadelphia Union) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner.|
|Kai Wagner (5′)||Rodolfo Pizarro (36′)|
|Kacper Przybylko (63′)|
|Andrés Reyes (90’+8′)|
vs. New York City FC, Monday, July 20 at 9:00 ET.
Side Notes – #FútbolFashion
The Rosanegro wore the “Rosanegra” for the first time – going with an all-black monochromatic look. It didn’t look bad, though the pink is still a bit on the light side and the embossed herons on the front of the shirt really don’t show up on camera. During the last game with the white shirt, they were completely invisible, as if they had been quarantined somewhere. Those embossed herons deserve to thrive in pink. Plain and simple. Moreover, there’s just something about an all-black kit that doesn’t match a semitropical location like Miami, or Fort Lauderdale for that matter. Black could be anywhere. My recommendation, beyond MLS dumping adidas? Reverse the black and pink.
Cake by the ocean
After the game, the Union twitter account posted this picture, with the caption “Miami? Nah, just a piece of cake.” Considering that it comes from a Philadelphia area team, this is a fairly mild jab. But it should serve to make Inter Miami fans reflect.
Maybe it’s time to remember that whether or not Inter Miami becomes MLS’ global team, as loudly promised to fans by the ownership group/investors, they are still just an expansion team, a dot in the expansive universe of football, and there’s a lot of growing to do. One game at a time.
Cover Photo: Román Torres, Inter Miami (Source unknown)