The Starting Lineups
Starters: Tyler Miller, Donovan Pines, Derrick Williams, Victor Pálsson, Andy Najar (Ruan 76'), Russell Canouse (Chris Durkin 87'), Lewis O'Brien, Yamil Asad (Nigel Robertha 76'), Cristian Dájome, Taxi Fountas (Erik Hurtado 90'+4'), Christian Benteke
Unused Substitutes: Alex Bono, Steven Birnbaum, Kristian Fletcher, Brendan Hines-Ike, Gaoussou Samaké
Inter Miami CF
Starters: Drake Callender, Ian Fray, Sergii Kryvtsov, Noah Allen, Dixon Arroyo, Rodolfo Pizzaro (Leo Campana 66'), Benjamin Cremaschi, David Ruiz, Robert Taylor (Ryan Sailor 86'), Josef Martinez (Edison Azcona 87'), Nicolas Stefanelli (Israel Boatwright 29')
Unused Substitutes: CJ Dos Santos, Christopher McVey, Harvey Neville, Lawson Sunderland, Shanyder Borgelin
Audi Field was buzzing with energy even before the match started, and both teams seemed to thrive upon it.
The Black & Red started on the front foot and looked to keep the pressure on Inter Miami. Cristian Dájome got the start in the Left Wing was especially dangerous on the left as United’s offense kept Miami pushed back.
The game was physical from the start, these two teams definitely don’t like each other.
Christian Benteke and Taxi Fountas both had a couple good looks but couldn’t find a way past Inter Miami’s goalkeeper, Drake Callender.
United looked like they had broken through when Andy Najar placed a shot into the net off of a free kick. The celebration was short lived as off-sides was called. Najar was on-sides but it was deemed that Derrick Williams affected the play from an off-side position.
The half would end with the two teams tied at zeroes.
Miami opened the scoring in the 59th minute when Benjamin Cremaschi received a pass from midfielder Robert Taylor at the top of the box and put an inch perfect shot for his first career goal to give the Hurons a 1-0 lead. It wasn’t exactly against the run of play, but it definitely wasn’t the direction the game had been going at that point.
Giving up the goal did light a fire under the Black & Red. Their intensity had been high before, but now it went up. Passing became quicker, and more precise. One such combination was a thing of beauty as Yamil Asad picked up a long pass in Miami’s box, backheeled it to Dájome who passed it to Taxi Fountas. Taxi’s shot from the top of the box tied the score in the 65th minute.
Unfortunately the Hurons were able to retake the lead. Miami had earned a free kick off a long ball in a dangerous area. Inter Miami lined up, and Josef Martínez moved to the front of the scrum. Noah Allen, taking the free kick, put the ball right through where Martínez had vacated. The Black & Red were all caught flatfooted and the ball went in untouched. It was Allen’s first MLS goal.
This goal seemed to take the wind out of United and the crowd, and it looked like the Black & Red would drop all three points. Sensing the game was slipping away, Rooney made a double substitution bringing in Ruan and Robertha. Their energy helped immediately. Ruan’s speed helped against the tired legs of Miami’s defense. He got the ball into a dangerous area, and Taxi made a cross that found the on rushing Nigel Robertha. Robertha's first goal of the season was a beautiful finish off a perfect cross to tie the game again.
Both teams pushed to get the winner, and Benteke had a gorgeous shot from point blank that was saved only by Calendar making an amazing save.
The game would end with a draw, though it really felt like DC dropped points.
Notes From the Top Row:
DC is on the front foot to start the match
Near thing, Benteke’s
Wow, both teams are being physical
DC is creating chances but can’t finish
DC is pressing, but can’t manage the breakthrough
Miami goalie is jut stopping everything
Goal! Andy Najar!
Halftime is tied
Another great save by Calendar
Taxi on a break away, but shot too soon
Miami is growing into the game
O’Brien dispossessed in a dangerous area
Great shot, but damn
Asad with a great backheel
Free kick for Miami
Martinez scored off a free kick
Actually Noah Allen scored, ball went through untouched
Miller has to do better
Benteke from point blank
Calendar made an amazing save
Man of the Match: Taxi Fountas
Taxi scored his sixth goal of the season and his first assist. It wasn’t a perfect game but he is why DC at least earned a point.
Player Ratings (FotMob):
Tyler Miller 6.7
Victor Pálsson 6.6
Derrick Williams 6.3
Donovan Pines 7.2
Andy Nájar 7.6
Russell Canouse 6.9
Lewis O’Brien 7.0
Christian Dajome 7.8
Yamil Asad 7.0
Taxi Fountas 8.0
Christian Benteke 7.1
Nigel Robertha 7.3
Chris Durkin NA
Eric Hurtado NA
Next Match: DC United go on the road to New England on Saturday July 15th to take on the Revolution.
Written by: RJ Rolsen