FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (May 20, 2023) – Orlando City SC (5-4-4, 19 points) took a 3-1 victory over its intrastate rivals Inter Miami CF (5-8-0, 15 points) on Saturday night at DRV PNK Stadium. The Lions were backed by goals from Ercan Kara, Martín Ojeda and Rafael Santos, with the Brazilian defender’s also serving as his first as a Lion.
The Lions took the early lead with César Araújo connecting with the head of Kara by way of a long throw-in, taking the advantage into halftime. The Herons would answer shortly after the break however thanks to a Leonardo Campana goal in the 57th, but City would regain the lead once more thanks to Ojeda’s third goal of the year, with Rafael Santos providing the insurance in the 86th.
Kara and Ojeda would each add an assist on the night to their contributions, with Araújo, Rodrigo Schlegel and Duncan McGuire all adding a helper as well. The assist for Schlegel served as his first as a Lion.
City will now turn its attention to a visit from neighbors to the north Atlanta United FC, set for Saturday, May 27 in a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff at Exploria Stadium.
19’ Ercan Kara (César Araújo) – ORL 1, MIA 0
The Lions opened up the scoring on the night off of a long throw-in from César Araújo. Araújo’s ball found the head of Ercan Kara at the near post who threw a backwards header over top of Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender to the far post to get on the board early.
57’ Leonardo Campana (Josef Martínez, DeAndre Yedlin) – ORL 1, MIA 1
Inter Miami leveled it after the halftime break, when DeAndre Yedlin deflected a ball to Josef Martínez who laid it off to Leonardo Campana. Campana took a touch inside and fired it just under the crossbar from outside the box to equalize.
68’ Martín Ojeda (Ercan Kara, Rodrigo Schlegel) – ORL 2, MIA 1
Orlando City took back the lead just 11 minutes later, with Rodrigo Schlegel firing in a pass to Ercan Kara at midfield. Kara then one-timed it behind the defense to a running Martín Ojeda. Ojeda went one-on-one with the goalkeeper, firing a low shot to Callender’s right and into the net for the lead once more.
86’ Rafael Santos (Duncan McGuire, Martín Ojeda) – ORL 3, MIA 1
The Lions sealed the victory with a third goal in the dying minutes of the match as Martín Ojeda played a ball forward to Duncan McGuire. The rookie forward played a pass left to Rafael Santos, who hit a low curler across the face of goal and into the lower-right corner of the net.
Head Coach Oscar Pareja:
“Congratulations to our fans for winning the derby. Beyond the three points that are very important for us, it means a lot to them. We're very happy to have such a performance here on this field against a main rival. We are very proud. I want to congratulate the players on the way they played tonight. I think it was until the 16th minute that it was our first shot against [Inter Miami CF]. We have a very solid resistance, and character in the initiative to play the game. If you’re going to start to win away games, it was super. A lot of things that we can dig into and just take in as a method to get going to prepare for the next game against Atlanta.”
- Forward Ercan Kara scored his fourth goal in five matches in MLS regular-season play, tallying his fifth across all competitions in 2023 to tie Duncan McGuire for the team lead. Kara also added an assist on the night, his second of the year.
- Rafael Santos scored his first goal as a Lion on the night.
- Martín Ojeda netted his third goal of the year while also adding his fourth assist to take the team-lead in helpers.
- Rodrigo Schlegel earned his first assist as a Lion in the match with the secondary on the Ojeda finish. With 26 minutes on the night, Schlegel also surpassed the 6,000 minute mark as a Lion.
- Midfielder César Araújo provided his first assist of 2023, taking the throw-in for Kara’s finish, his second of his City career.
- Defender Antonio Carlos tallied his 90th appearance in all competitions as a Lion with the start.
- Defender Robin Jansson broke the Club-record for MLS regular season appearances with the start, surpassing former teammate Chris Mueller with his 113th in purple.
- Forward Duncan McGuire notched his second assist of the campaign.
- Head Coach Oscar Pareja made one change to his starting lineup from his side’s last match against New York City FC, with Rafael Santos getting the start on the night