Inter Miami rallied back from a 2-0 halftime deficit to knock off Charlotte 3-2 on Saturday, July16th. Robert Taylor got a goal back in the 59th minute, then Gonzalo Higuain scored the equalizer in the 72nd minute. Then came the match-winner from Emerson Rodriguez in the third minute of second half added time.
Charlotte got the early lead just seconds into the match as Yordy Reyna punished Miami for a turnover in the midfield in the first minute. After a turnover, Karol Swiderski found Reyna on a through ball and Reyna put it past Drake Callender.
Charlotte then doubled their lead in the 42nd minute as Reyna picked up a brace on a fantastic finish. Reyna received the ball on the left side of the box, and then curled a shot into the opposite corner that beat Callender.
Robert Taylor got one back in the 59th minute for Miami as he showed off some skillful ball-handling to get into the box before putting the ball past Charlotte's keeper Kristijan Kahlina and into the net. It was an impressive goal.
Gonzalo Higuain found the equalizer in the 72nd minute. He made a run to get past the backline and Gregore delivered a great ball in and Higuain put it home. Higuain had a goal called back for offsides just nine minutes prior, but finally found the equalizer later on.
The Emerson Rodriguez match-winner came in the third out of five minutes of added time in the second half. Gregore got the ball in the middle after a turnover and then played a through ball to Emerson. Emerson was then able to put the ball past the keeper right before a defender arrived. Emerson had only subbed on in the 87th minute, but he arguably made as big of impact as any due to the goal he scored. It was Emerson's first MLS goal.
Callender made a huge save in the ninth minute as he denied a shot from Reyna. Reyna put a shot in from outside the box, but Callender made a diving save to keep it Miami from falling too far behind early.
Miami almost had an incredible goal in the 25th minute. Taylor once again showed off some impressive dribbling in the box before getting a pass off to Leo Campana who put a shot on, but it was saved by Kahlina
Statistically, Inter Miami was well in control of the match, even if the score didn't show it. Miami held the edge in possession, 59%-41%. Miami also held the edge in shots 15-4 and in shots on target (7-3). Miami completed 87.2% of their passes, compared to 80% for Charlotte. Miami held the edge in expected goals at 1.4 to 0.5.
Alejandro Pozuelo was very strong in his Miami debut. He completed 91.7% of his passes, had three key passes, and made a tackle. If he can keep making the impact that he did in this match, then the trade to acquire him will look better and better than it already does.
Gregore was also very dangerous passing-wise. He had two assists, completed 89.2% of his passes, made three key passes, and made two tackles. Taylor was also strong in the match. He scored, completed 72.2% of his passes, made three key passes, and did well in duels as well.
It's been an up-and-down season for Miami, but this was a gritty and resilient win for Miami that should give the fans a lot of hope. While you aren't happy about what you allowed from Charlotte and Reyna in the first half, Miami fans have to be excited about the promise shown in the second half. This feels like a match that could be a building block for Miami.
Miami now sits ninth in the East with 25 points through 20 matches. The Herons are also just two points out of a playoff spot, and just five points back of rivals Orlando City for fifth as the club makes a push to the playoffs. Next up, the Herons will have their work cut out for them as they travel to play New York City FC on Saturday, July 23rd.