Thursday, July 25, 2024

Philadelphia Union 1-2 Inter Miami: Afonso hits last-gasp winner for nine-man Herons

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 16 Jun 2024

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Leo Afonso scored an incredible 94th-minute winner as Inter Miami fought back to beat the Philadelphia Union 2-1 in MLS on Saturday despite being reduced to nine men.

Miami’s grasp on top spot in the Eastern Conference looked like being weakened when Gerardo Martino’s team – who were without both Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez as Argentina and Uruguay continue their Copa America preparations – fell behind after three minutes.

Mikael Uhre’s one-on-one finish put the Union ahead, but Miami levelled just after half-time as Julian Gressel fired into the top-right corner from the centre of the box.

The Herons, though, found themselves up against it when both David Ruiz and Tomas Aviles were sent off, the former for a horror challenge on Leon Flach and the latter earning a soft second booking for kicking the ball away.

With the Union throwing men forward in search of a winner, they were struck with a sucker punch.

Afonso raced away on the counterattack, ignoring Benjamin Cremaschi to his right before slotting his finish past Oliver Semmle to hand Miami an eighth win in their last 11 games (two draws, one defeat).

Data Debrief: No Messi, no problem

Ahead of Saturday’s game, Miami had only won three of their 14 matches without Messi since the Barcelona great arrived in MLS (five draws, six defeats).

However, even without Messi, Suarez or a full complement, Miami showed they are the team to beat in MLS this year.

Martino’s team ended the game having enjoyed more possession (57.4 per cent), shots on target (four to three) and touches in the box (17 to 16) than Philadelphia, despite playing almost 40 minutes at least one player down.

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