Inter Miami CF Earns 1-1 Draw Against Columbus Crew in Breeze Airways Carolina Challenge Cup Opener

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Inter Miami CF opened the Breeze Airways Carolina Challenge Cup with a 1-1 draw against the Columbus Crew at Patriots Point Soccer Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina. Ariel Lassiter, who came on in the second half, scored the team’s goal after an assist from Gonzalo Higuaín, earning a point in its first of three matches at the tournament for Inter Miami.

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“There were a lot of really, really strong positives in my opinion. I think defensively we were very solid throughout the majority of the match. I think towards the end of it, you saw after so many changes and we had so many different people in different positions, we saw a little bit of chaos and that’s what led to allowing the goal that ultimately equalized the game,” said assistant coach Jason Kreis. “Ultimately the results are not the most important thing, the performance is and there’s just a lot of positives to draw out of that.”Inter Miami took to the field against Columbus with a starting XI full of new faces. Clément Diop started in goal; DeAndre Yedlin, Ian Fray, Damion Lowe, Christopher McVey and Noah Allen formed the team’s backline; Jean Mota, Victor Ulloa and Gregore started in midfield; Leonardo Campana and Higuaín led the frontline. The match marked the first start of the preseason, and in Inter Miami colors, for new signings Campana and Yedlin, as well as Academy product Allen.

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The match opened with Inter Miami defending stoutly and creating a number of opportunities in transition. In the 13th minute, the team threatened the opposition goal for the first time; Mota stepped up to take a free kick from the top of the box, firing at the near post, but he was denied by the extended hand of a diving Eloy Room.Just moments later, the team again pushed forward, with Allen whipping a dangerous ball to the head of Lowe at the back post, and after a scramble Mota struck a half volley that was blocked, but the rebound fell to Lowe and his powerful shot in front of goal went over the bar.Inter Miami created a few more chances before the half was over, including shots from Campana and Gregore, and a chipped pass from George Acosta behind the defense that just narrowly missed the foot of Higuaín in front of goal, but was unable to find the back of the net. The team, however, continued to stifle the Columbus attack, with Lowe standing out in defense.Following the introduction of Lassiter to start the second half, the team took the lead through the speedy Costa Rican; a quick transition started with a line breaking pass by McVey to Acosta, who quickly hit a pass to Higuaín. The Argentine striker drove forward and hit a precise through ball to split two defenders and find Lassiter behind the defense, who calmly slotted his shot past the keeper for a goal and a 1-0 lead.In the 87th minute, however, Columbus equalized; Gyasi Zardes hit a ball across the face of goal to Derrick Etienne Jr., whose first shot was impressively saved from close range by Diop, but the rebound found him and he scored on the second chance. The scoreline held for the remainder of the match, resulting in a 1-1 draw in Charleston.Inter Miami made a number of changes throughout the match, first bringing on Acosta for Ulloa in the 29th minute. The team then made a trio o f substitutions to start the second half, bringing on Lassiter and Fort Lauderdale CF products Harvey Neville and Abel Caputo in place of Campana, Yedlin and Gregore. Throughout the second half, the team continued to make changes, bringing on Brek Shea, Kieran Gibbs, Aimé Mabika and Fort Lauderdale CF product Shaan Hundal for Allen, Mota, McVey and Higuaín.Inter Miami will return to action on Tuesday, Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. ET to take on the Charleston Battery in its second match of the Breeze Airways Carolina Challenge Cup.Inter Miami fans can join the Heartbeat of the club and secure their seats for the 2022 campaign by becoming Season Ticket Members . Season Ticket Members receive the best prices and priority seating locations for all 2022 home matches. Additional benefits include priority access to home playoff matches, interest free payment options, and discounts on season parking passes. For more information on Season Ticket Memberships, please visit .Individual match tickets for each of the 17 regular season home matches on the Inter Miami CF schedule – beginning with the highly anticipated home opener on Saturday, February 26 are available visiting . Fans can also call 305-428-0611 to learn more.


Inter Miami media relations contributed to this recap

Author: West Lamy

My passport requires no photograph. Experienced play-by-play broadcaster and multimedia sports journalist with years of producing and covering sports. WORLDWIDEWEST is a journey; in this journey my feet don't get blisters, but my shoes do.

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