ORLANDO, Fla. (Sept. 24, 2023) – Orlando City SC (14-7-9, 51 points) played to a 1-1 draw against Inter Miami CF (9-15-5, 32 points) in front of a sold-out crowd at Exploria Stadium on Sunday night. With the tie, the Lions finish the regular-season series 1-0-1 against their intrastate rival and continue to hold the third-overall position in Major League Soccer.
The Lions’ lone goal of the night came from the foot of forward Duncan McGuire in the second half. The goal counted for his 11th of the season across all competitions and his ninth in regular-season play. It is the first regular-season goal McGuire has scored since finding the back of the net back on July 15th against Atlanta United FC, which then served as the game-winner.
The Lions clinched their spot in the 2023 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs during their midweek match against New York City FC. The Lions currently sit in third place in the Eastern Conference standings, two points clear of finishing in a top-four spot.
52’ David Ruiz – MIA 1, ORL 0
The visitors struck first with Josef Martinez getting on the end of a ball behind the Lions’ backline and striking a shot to the back post. City goalkeeper Pedro Gallese made the save, but the rebound fell to the foot of David Ruiz who tapped it over the line.
66’ Duncan McGuire - ORL 1, MIA 1
The home side found the leveler after a nice buildup between Wilder Cartagena and Martín Ojeda, which saw the ball take a deflection off a Miami defender and find Duncan McGuire one-on-one with the goalkeeper. McGuire made no mistake on the finish and struck the ball into the back of the net, through the legs of Drake Callender.
Head Coach Oscar Pareja:
“It was a very competitive match, of course we are battling for our fans, the stadium, and the company that we have. The stamina in the game was raised from the first minute and then many times the game became very rocky. We could’ve had more clarity in the two boxes when we were attacking and be cleaner when making a decision and not having to suffer that much to score the goal that equalized the game. At the end, I think we pushed, we played well. I don’t like to say that we deserved more because that’s soccer, it’s not a good phrase. We have to be cleaner in these types of games, where there’s not many options, the gaps are closed, and we had our moments to finish. But we take the point, we have 51 points and we are second [in the standings]. The boys deserve a lot, and this is the taste of what is coming from us. Every game is like a playoff game and we’re proud of the players.”
- With the draw, the Lions remain undefeated at home against Miami, totaling a 2-0-4 all-time record across all competitions from the confines of Exploria Stadium.
- Duncan McGuire scored his 11th goal of the season across all competitions. It also counted as his ninth in MLS regular season play.
- Head Coach Oscar Pareja made one change to his starting lineup since his side’s last match against New York City FC with Duncan McGuire getting the nod.
Fans interested in learning more about playoff tickets can click here.