Orlando City

Match report: Lions bow out of Leagues Cup 2023 with loss at Inter Miami CF


FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Aug. 2, 2023) – Orlando City SC saw its Leagues Cup 2023 play come to an end, falling 3-1 to intrastate rival Inter Miami CF on Wednesday night at DRV PNK Stadium. With that, the Lions will see 17 days before their next match, traveling to face Chicago Fire FC on Aug. 20 when the team resumes MLS regular season play.

After falling down 1-0 early in the game, the visitors responded with a goal through midfielder César Araújo, his second across all competitions. However, after entering the locker room tied at 1-1, the Herons found two goals in the second half, including a controversial penalty kick goal that proved to be the game-winner.

The rivalry match was slated to kick off at 8 p.m. ET, however faced a lengthy weather delay during warmups, with the ball eventually rolling at 9:35 p.m. ET.

Scoring Summary:

7’ Lionel Messi (Robert Taylor) – MIA 1, ORL 0
Miami struck first, just seven minutes into the game, as Robert Taylor carried the ball just outside the top right corner of the Lions’ box before lobbing it behind the line for Lionel Messi who slid it home for the opener.

17’ César Araújo – ORL 1, MIA 1
The Lions equalized 10 minutes later off a corner kick won from a Mauricio Pereyra free kick. Pereyra played the corner low to Iván Angulo for a shot on goal. Miami’s Drake Callender stopped the shot, but the rebound César Araújo who fired home the equalizer.

51’ Josef Martínez (Penalty Kick) – MIA 2, ORL 1
Miami took the lead back shortly into the second half after a controversial penalty call, which did not receive a VAR review. Miami forward Josef Martínez stepped up, stutter-stepped and hit it low to Pedro Gallese’s right for the goal.

72’ Lionel Messi (Josef Martínez) – MIA 3, ORL 1
Miami extended their lead in the 72nd minute with a cross that found its way to Josef Martínez at the far post, where the goal scorer turned provider for Lionel Messi. Martínez chipped the ball back to Messi just outside the six-yard box and fired it home for his second of the night.

Head Coach Oscar Pareja:

“We weren't sharp enough up front, probably could have been more aggressive when we had the ball. And we're going to take the blame and in our team. We couldn't score and then they open the scoring in the first half and [again] in the second half very early. We could have avoided that but, honestly, we are very disappointed with the game [being decided] in two places... I think it's clear that the rivalry [with Inter Miami] is going to be wider and better, and we're ready to do it. We will continue and obviously, the [regular] season is there.”

Match Notes:

  • César Araújo scored his first goal of Leagues Cup 2023 and his second of the year across all competitions.  
  • Wednesday marked the first Leagues Cup match between the two sides, and second of three meetings this season, with Orlando taking the first regular season meeting in Ft. Lauderdale by a 3-1 scoreline on May 20.  
  • Head Coach Oscar Pareja made no changes to his starting lineup since his side’s last match against Santos Laguna.