Patience and concentration were key as D.C. United scored two late-match goals to overcome Inter Miami CF, 2-1, in Fort Lauderdale. The disjointed match saw a tepid first half give way to a fiery race to score the game-winner as the clock ticked toward the final whistle.
Wayne Rooney said, “Performance-wise obviously we were in full control of the game and never looked in any danger. It was just really about being patient. I think performances like this, it might look late on the eye, but it was so important that we kept with our patience… and I thought we’d done that quite well.”
What the match lacked in flow, it almost made up for in chippy drama. Miami’s Kamal Miller was shown red in the 7′ after a dust-up with Christian Benteke that downed the striker in the penalty area. The card would end up dictating much of the match. As the Herons played on with ten men, they locked down defensively and got even more physical with the Black-and-Red.
Andy Najar, Pedro Santos, Taxi Fountas, Christian Benteke, Donovan Pines, and Mateusz Klich all made attempts in the first half but just weren’t able to find the back of Miami’s net, either missing or falling victim to a talented Drake Callender.
Dixon Arroyo missed an opportunity for Miami, skying the ball and leaving Tyler Miller little to do in the first half. D.C. United and Inter Miami CF remained in a scoreless deadlock at the half.
The match really started in the second half when the Black-and-Red and the Herons both began to feel the pressure, and the action became even more chippy as both sides sought a goal.
It would come down to Donovan Pines to open the scoring for the match in the 76′. A headed cross from Steve Birnbaum found Pines right in front of the goal. Despite the confusion in the box, Pines was able to salvage a ball that hit the post and tip it across Callender’s line to score his second goal this week.
Christian Benteke followed up on Pines’ goal and doubled D.C. United’s lead in the 90′. Making a break for Miami’s end, Benteke captured the through ball from Victor Pálsson and headed it into position away from the Heron’s defense so he could easily fling a shot right past Callender.
Ian Fray answered quickly for Miami with his first MLS goal to ruin D.C.’s clean sheet. A neat backheel pass from Robert Taylor to Fray set up the shot. Fray sliced the ball through traffic to overcome Tyler Miller.
While not the most riveting match, Wayne Rooney was pleased with the performance from D.C. United. He said, “I think the important thing was obviously the win after the game midweek, where we were disappointed not to get three points from a performance point of view.”
Back to winning ways, D.C. United remains on the road to face Atlanta United on June 10th at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
MLS Regular Season – Game 17
Inter Miami CF: 1 Fray 90′ + 2′
D.C. United: 2 Pines 76′, Benteke 90′
Inter Miami CF: Drake Callender, DeAndre Yedlin, Sergii Kryvtsov, Kamal Miller, Franco Negri, Dixon Arroyo (Ian Fray 50′), Bejamin Cremaschi, David Ruiz, Jean Corentin (Robert Taylor 55′), Josef Martinez (Leo Campana 46′), Nicolas Stefanelli (Ryan Sailor 10′)(Christopher McVey 55′)
D.C. United: Tyler Miller, Derrick Williams (Cristian Dájome 46′), Steven Birnbaum, Donovan Pines, Pedro Santos (Ted Ku-DiPietro 69′), Andy Najar, Chris Durkin, Victor Pálsson, Mateusz Klich (Yamil Asad 90’+8′), Taxi Fountas (Jacob Greene 81′), Christian Benteke
Inter Miami CF: Miller 7′ (red card), Jean 12′, Fray 71′, Campana 81′, Yedlin 89′
D.C. United: Santos 12′, Benteke 45’+ 1′
Featured image courtesy of D.C. United // Brad Young