ORLANDO, Fla. (Aug. 27, 2021) - Orlando City SC (9-4-8, 35 points) battled to a scoreless draw on Friday night at Exploria Stadium against intrastate foes Inter Miami CF (6-9-5, 23 points), extending the Club’s unbeaten run to six-consecutive matches.
Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese tallied two saves in his return to the pitch, his first appearance since July 25, including a swatting effort in the 22nd minute to keep Miami off the board. The clean sheet served as the fifth for “El Pulpo” on the year, with the Lions earning their seventh shutout in total to tie the Club single-season record set in the 2015, 2017 and 2019, respectively.
Forward Daryl Dike also made his return to the field in the match, entering the game after the halftime break for Tesho Akindele. Dike looked to find the back of the net with a header off a Nani corner late in the match, but his effort was denied by Miami goalkeeper Nick Marsman.
Both sides saw goals waved off in the first half, with the Lions looking to have taken the lead in the 25th minute only for the goal to be disallowed upon Video Review. The Herons found the back of the net in first half stoppage, but that goal, too, was ruled offside.
Head Coach Oscar Pareja:
“I thought it was a very competitive one like any other game in Major League Soccer, but this one against a team who had some momentum and they came here surely to compete for the three points. We did a good job, I thought our boys played well. [It would have been] much better with the three points. We think we did enough to do it, but we have to accept it, take the point and understand that that’s the game. Great effort by our players, very competitive match. I could tell the urgency from both teams, but [I’m] proud to see our guys play the way they did today. We will keep going forward.”
- Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese recorded his fifth clean sheet of the season in his return to the lineup for the first time since July 25.
- The shutout served as the seventh on the year for the Club, tying a franchise record set in each of the 2015, 2017 and 2019 MLS campaigns.
- With the result, City extended its unbeaten run to six-consecutive matches, posting an undefeated record in MLS play through the month of August.
- Antonio Carlos tallied his 40th start as a Lion in the match in what also served as his 45th appearance.
- Benji Michel tallied his 30th start for the Club in the match, the only Lion to appear in every fixture this season.
- The tie served as the third-consecutive result for the Lions against the Herons, with a victory and a pair of draws through the trio of matches between the Florida-based sides this season.
- Head Coach Oscar Pareja made two changes to his starting lineup entering the match, with Gallese and Chris Mueller reentering the fold. The start served as the first for Gallese since July 25 at NYCFC.
Next Match: The Lions close out a three-game home stint on Saturday, Sept. 4, hosting Columbus Crew SC at Exploria Stadium in a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff.