Orlando City SC Splits the Points with Intrastate Rival Inter Miami CF in 1-1 Draw

ORLANDO, Fla. (Sept. 24, 2023) – Orlando City SC and Inter Miami CF battled to a thrilling 1-1 draw in front of a raucous, sold-out crowd at Exploria Stadium on Sunday night. This highly anticipated clash between intrastate rivals lived up to its billing as both teams displayed determination and skill on the pitch, even without superstar Lionel Messi.

With this result, Orlando City SC (14-7-9, 51 points) maintains its second-overall position in the Major League Soccer standings, while Inter Miami CF (9-15-5, 32 points) showed their mettle against a formidable opponent.

The night belonged to forward Duncan McGuire, who etched his name in the headlines with a sensational goal in the second half. McGuire’s strike marked his 11th goal of the season across all competitions and his ninth in regular-season play. It was a moment of brilliance from McGuire, reminiscent of his game-winning goal against Atlanta United FC on July 15th.

The scoring action commenced in the 52nd minute when David Ruiz of Inter Miami CF found the back of the net, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead. Josef Martinez’s initial shot was saved by City goalkeeper Pedro Gallese, but the rebound fell kindly to Ruiz, who made no mistake in kicking it into net.

Orlando City SC responded emphatically in the 66th minute, equalizing the score at 1-1. A beautiful combination play between Wilder Cartagena and Martín Ojeda saw the ball deflect off a Miami defender, setting up McGuire one-on-one with the goalkeeper. McGuire displayed clinical finishing, sending the ball through the legs of Miami’s Drake Callender to level the score.

Head Coach Oscar Pareja expressed his thoughts on the hard-fought match: “It was a very competitive match, and we are proud of our fans, the stadium, and our team’s effort. The game was intense from the first minute, and at times, it became a battle. We could have been more clinical in front of goal and made better decisions, but that’s soccer. We take the point, and with 51 points, we remain in second place in the standings. Every game is like a playoff, and we’re proud of our players.”

This draw extends Orlando City SC’s undefeated record at home against Inter Miami CF to 2-0-4 across all competitions at Exploria Stadium. The team’s resilience, combined with McGuire’s goal-scoring prowess, has been instrumental in maintaining their strong position in the Eastern Conference standings.

Looking ahead, Head Coach Oscar Pareja made a tactical adjustment by starting Duncan McGuire in the lineup, a move that showcased its impact in this crucial match. The team’s next challenge will be against CF Montréal at Exploria Stadium on Saturday, September 30, at 7:30 p.m., which promises to be another exciting encounter.

In conclusion, Orlando City SC and Inter Miami CF treated fans to an exhilarating contest that ended in a hard-fought 1-1 draw. Duncan McGuire’s heroics ensured that Orlando City SC continues to hold their ground near the top of the MLS standings. As the regular season winds down and the playoffs loom, both teams will be looking to build on this performance to achieve success in the postseason.

## Sources
1. [Orlando City SC splits the points with intrastate rival Inter Miami](
2. [McGuire’s equalizer earns Orlando City 1-1 draw with Inter Miami](
3. [Orlando City SC 1-1 Inter Miami CF (Sep 24, 2023) – ESPN](
4. [MATCH RECAP: Inter Miami CF Earns a Point on the Road Against Rivals Orlando City](
5. [Orlando City draw 1-1 with Inter Miami](
6. [Orlando City earns 1-1 draw with Messi-less Inter Miami](

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