Purple Reigns In Florida As Orlando City Wallops Inter Miami 3-1

Orlando Miami

DRV PNK Stadium- Orlando City SC claimed the Florida Derby with a 3-1 victory over Inter Miami CF Saturday night painting the State purple. Ercan Kara, Martin Ojeda, and Rafael Santos scored for Orlando while Leonardo Campana had the lone goal for Miami.

Kick Off

The Starting XI for Inter Miami CF saw some familiar faces return against Orlando City SC. Sergeii Kryvtsov came back from an ankle injury along with DeAndre Yedlin in the defense while Josef Martinez and Coco Jean joined them on the attack.

The Herons’ initiated the match in a  5-3-2  formation continuing the focus on defending wide and attacking through the wings.

An Ercan Kara backward head flick off a long throw-in slipped past Drake Callender and into the Miami net for the 1-0 lead at the 19′ minute.

Sergeii Kryvtsov was subbed off at the 33′ minute for Nico Stefanelli, Kryvtsov seemed to have a slight limp as he walked off the pitch.

Stefanelli’s entrance gave the Herons greater control of the match, but Miami was unable to convert on any of the chances they created and Orlando went into the break with the lead.

Early in the second half Inter Miami tied the match on a spectacular left-footed lazer beam by Leo Campana that sparked the home crowd.

The tie would be shortlived by Miami as Martin Ojeda took advantage of a napping Heron defense at the 68′ minute to give Orlando the 2-1 lead.

Despite Inter Miami having over 60% ball possession Orlando would be the squad to get on the board again via a Rafael Santos blast in the 86′ minute. Santos would put the game to bed and send the fans home with a definite 3-1.

Purple is King in Florida with Orlando City being the more effective side. Inter Miami’s poor play and mental lapses left a poor image in a rivalry game.

Postgame Press Conference

The press conference was more interesting than the match for Inter Miami CF, as Coach Neville went straight to questions instead of his usual remarks. Neville became upset with colleague Franco Panizo after he asked a question about Kryvtsov’s substitution and attempted to tie it with midweek comments Leo Campana made to Ian Hest about the first-half tactics against Nashville SC the previous week.

Neville was not having it and lashed out at Panizo, uncharacteristically losing his cool, but immediately apologized.

Both men immediately moved on and the presser continued without any more hiccups.

I asked defender Kamal Miller who Miami’s playmaker is in the midfield, but the veteran player sidestepped the question and provided a politically correct answer. I don’t blame him because, from my vantage point, the squad is sorely lacking one.

Final Thoughts

Three mental lapses by Inter Miami, three goals for Orlando City to win the Florida Derby. At home in front of its fans, Miami was disappointing. Will this latest loss lead to another losing streak? It better not because there are only so many tweaks left to be made for this team.

Franco Negri has been a revelation on the attack from the wings for Inter Miami CF, but defensively he has been a liability. Negri has been out of position and trailing plays that have led to goals scored against Miami too often, and it doesn’t appear to be getting better. How will this be corrected?

A difference maker is lacking in the Miami midfield, and by this I don’t mean that there isn’t talent on the squad, but I don’t see that “special” player. The player which is able to go one-on-one against opposing players and break down defensive schemes or serve a pass through a defense for the forwards to score.

Benjamin Cremaschi had a tough match against Orlando City, he wasn’t as sharp as in previous games. He’s being asked to shoulder a big load in the Miami midfield, and I’m not sure he’s ready for that responsibility just yet. He’s been fantastic, but he needs help.

Ryan Sailor is a very fundamentally sound defender, but he was overly aggressive on the third goal scored by Orlando, charging at a player with the ball while leaving his backside exposed.  The pass in behind him allows Orlando City to have a lane into the area and eventually score. Ryan has committed this mistake a couple of times this season.

Phil Neville is on the hot seat and it appears he is feeling the heat. His frustration and reaction in the press conference show a man who is aware of what is being said in the media about him and is bothered by it.  A genuinely nice guy he must grow a thicker skin and remain focused only on what happens in his locker room.

Back-to-back tepid showings by Inter Miami CF have the fans on edge. A very good Nashville SC squad comes into DRV PNK on Tuesday and a third tepid game could lead to a revolt.

Phil and the boys are under extreme pressure to perform.

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