Inter Miami CF are back in the victory column for the first time in 2 1/2 months, and the club aims for back-to-back triumphs when they visit Orlando City on Wednesday night.
Inter Miami (3-8-3, 12 points) was mired in an 0-6-1 stretch before registering the much-needed 2-1 win over CF Montreal on Saturday. The victory was the team’s first since a 3-2 road win over FC Cincinnati on May 16.
Star striker Gonzalo Higuain scored two goals for Miami, including the decisive one in the 69th minute. He has a team-best seven goals.
The victory boosted the morale of a team with the fewest points in the MLS standings and saddled with the second-fewest goals (12) in the 27-team league.
“There is an element of relief throughout the whole club,” Inter Miami coach Phil Neville told reporters earlier this week. “You want to reverse the string of defeats.”
It will certainly rate as a challenge for Miami to knock off Orlando City (8-4-4, 28 points), which is in second place in the Eastern Conference.
Orlando City rallied for a 3-2 comeback victory over visiting Atlanta United on Friday. Silvester van der Water knotted the score in the 79th minute and Nani scored the winner eight minutes later.
Nani’s goal was his eighth of the season. None of the other Lions have more than three.
Though Orlando City is 5-1-2 at home, coach Oscar Pareja is expecting a battle with Inter Miami.
“It’s another opportunity for us, in a short period of time, to keep adding the points,” Pareja told reporters. “There are no doubts that we have in front of us a difficult game with a rival. We always respect them all and understanding that the priority for us is just to prepare for our next rival with all the energy.”
Orlando edged Miami 2-1 in Fort Lauderdale on June 25. Higuain scored in the 67th minute to put Miami ahead before Orlando received goals from Chris Mueller in the 73rd minute and Nani in the 80th to win it.
Miami will be without defender Leandro Gonzalez Pirez in the rematch. He will be serving a one-game suspension for yellow-card accumulation.
–Field Level Media
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