The Sunshine State Rivalry, El Sunpassico, Florida Derby, whatever your preferred name for the rivalry between Orlando City SC and Inter Miami FC is, it lived up to the hype… again. The second time in three total matches that the two clubs have met in Orlando but the first at Exploria Stadium with a capacity of about 6,000 raving fans filling the purple seats.
A scary scene just two minutes into the game where Miami player, Ben Sweat, went down in a scary fashion, and players quickly waved on the medical staff. He was replaced by former Orlando City fullback, Mikey Ambrose, in the seventh minute.
After 30 minutes of back and forth attacking soccer, Orlando City broke through. A free-kick looped into the box by Mauricio Pereyra deflected off the foot of Miami center back Andrés Reyes and into the back of the net.
Coming out of halftime, Miami brought on another former Orlando City player in Brek Shea. He would be the one to score the game-leveling goal in the 65th minute.
Four minutes after Shea’s goal, Pereyra gave Orlando City a 2-1 lead with a curling shot that struck the inside of the left post and hit the back of the net.
Just after the seventieth minute, Miami forward Julian Carranza seemed to be brought down in the box by Orlando defender Rodrigo Schlegel. Referee, Ismail Elfath, went to the VAR board and came back with the decision of a second yellow, followed by a red for Schlegel, and awarded Miami a penalty. Just seconds later, Elfath put his hand to his ear again and got word that Carranza was offside, voiding the penalty and Schlegel’s second yellow.
The match would stay 2-1 in favor of the home side until the final whistle, ending phase one of the MLS restart for both sides.
Miami is currently last place in the Eastern Conference with 8 points, while Orlando City sits in 4th place with 19 points. Each team’s next match comes next Saturday for phase two of the MLS restart.