Inter Miami and Charlotte FC tied this Wednesday (2-2) in a result that did not help the locals, already eliminated from the postseason, to say goodbye with joy to their fans, nor for the visitors to take a firm step towards the ‘playoffs’, an option that will be played this Saturday against the same rival .
Leo Messi was present at the DRV PNK Stadium supporting his teammates, having just arrived from his commitments in the South American qualifiers with Argentina and after scoring two goals against Peru on Tuesday night. Jordi Alba returned after his injury and played thirty minutes, aiming to start next Saturday.
The goals waited 45 minutes
Charlotte wanted the lead role with the ball in the first minutes, showing that they were the ones who had something at stake, but at the same time Inter Miami exerted very effective pressure that allowed them to recover balls and step into the rival area. The first imbalance could have come in the 16th minute with a penalty awarded by the hand of Canadian Kamal Miller while he was sliding into the area. The referee did not hesitate, but after consulting with the VAR, he corrected his decision to the joy of the local fans.
A foul by Sergio Busquets for dangerous play created a set-piece chance for Charlotte. The captain of the visitors, the Englishman Ashley Westwood, tried his luck, but he raised it too high. Little by little Charlotte stepped into more area and began to worry. Martino worriedly noted from the technical area how neither of the two references above, neither the Paraguayan Diego Gómez nor the Ecuadorian Leo Campana, came into play.
The first clear scoring opportunity for Inter Miami came in the 27th minute with Argentine Facundo Farías doing magic on the left wing to create a low cross that fell at the feet of Gómez, who threw it wide. The danger continued for Noah Allen, the winger recovered a ball in three quarters of the field and drove to the area to finish with a shot that went straight into the gloves of Croatian Kristijan Kahlina.
With time up, Charlotte moved ahead. A cross from the left by Colombian Kerwin Vargas The Argentine Enzo Copetti headed ithis sixth goal, in the first shot on goal of the match.
When they were already on their way to the locker room, Inter Miami ended up getting into the opponent’s area, and This is how the tying goal came. After several rejections, the ball ended up in the boots of Tomás Avilés, the Argentine threw the center and no one managed to push it until, at the far post, his compatriot Nicolás Stefanelli managed to beat Kahlina.
Charlotte effective, Miami insistent
The local joy did not last long, the left zone of their defense weakened allowing Nathan Byrne and Kalil Jozwiak to roam freely and progress easily to end up shooting a center that Vargas took advantage of to score the second. Miami was rowing against the current and had to insist, and so Stefanelli had the tie in the 54th minute, a sigh after having conceded the second. Kahlina’s response under the sticks was magnificent. It was the Croatian’s night, and he showed it shortly after. Campana left Allen alone in a one-on-one with the goalkeeper, who deflected it again with his leg.
The changes came with the entry of Brazilian Jean Mota and the reappearance of Jordi Alba, absent since September 21 when they beat Toronto. Martino’s men improved, and Campana was able to shine by controlling an impossible ball inside the area and resolving it with a half bicycle kick that crashed into the side of the net. Swiderski, as soon as he entered the field, tested Callender. Then he also tried his own teammate Busquets when trying to clear a ball from Copetti, and the goalkeeper, as usual, was effective.
Being persistent had its reward and Campana materialized itwho suits that game organizer costume very well, and invented a measured cross to Robbie Robinson to push her and celebrate the equalizer six minutes from the end.
Inter Miami was able to complete the comeback, and Robinson had the third in an individual play, already in added time, but Kahlina took it again and secured a point for his team.
With Inter already without postseason options and Christian Lattanzio’s men fighting for their remote chances of reaching the Playoffs, both teams will meet again this Saturday the 21st at the Bank of America Stadium. Charlotte, after this Wednesday’s result, will need to beat an Inter Miami on Saturday that will presumably have Messi and Alba, and then wait for other favorable results.
2. InterMiami: Callender; Yedlin, Avilés, Miller, Allen (Alba, d. 59); Gregore (Mota, d. 59), Busquets, Gómez (Ruiz, d. 90); Stefanelli (Robinson, d. 73), Campana and Farías.
2. Charlotte F.C.: Kahlina; Byrne, Malanda, Priset, Lindsey; Westwood, Bronico; Jozwiak (Arfield, d. 76), Vargas (Meram, d. 65), Dejaegere (Świderski, d. 65); Copetti.
Goals: 0-1, m. 44: Enzo Copetti. 1-1, m. 45+6: Nicolás Stefanelli. 1-2, m.52: Kerwin Vargas. 2-2, m. 84: Robbie Robinson.
Referee: Lucasz Szpala (United States). He showed a yellow card to Busquets (m. 21) and Gregore (m. 49) and Avilés (m. 76) for the locals to Bronico (m. 69) for the visitors. There were no expelled.
Incidents: MLS regular league match played at the DRV PNK Stadium before around 9,000 spectators.