FT. LAUDERDALE, FL – Inter Miami CF hosted LA Galaxy on Sunday afternoon on their first game of the 2021 regular season. The Galaxy were looking to rebuild under new manager Greg Vanney. Miami had a tough preseason with all their warmup games cancelled and an investigation surrounding violating the DP limit that saw Matias Pellegrini bought out. A Chicharito brace proved to be the difference at the end of the day.
Chicharito Brace Leads LA Galaxy Comeback at Inter Miami 3-2
Despite the limited preseason, Miami came out on the front foot. They were dynamic in the midfield, creating turnovers and counter attacks. Gonzalo Higuain and Rodolfo Pizarro both had looks. The Galaxy had decent build up but lacked ideas in the final third, with long crosses to an isolated Chicharito Hernandez.
It took till first half stoppage time for Miami to finally go ahead. Higuain beat the high line offside trap to put him and Robbie Robinson in on goal with just goalkeeper Jonathan Bond to beat. Higuian squared it to Robinson for a tap in. It was the first MLS goal for the former Clemson Tiger.
The second have started similar to the first prior to a double switch by Vanney. Substitute Ethan Zubak found space on the wing and sent a low cross to the near post. Chicharito put his back to the defender, took a touch, and beat goalkeeper John McCarthy between the legs.
Inter made it 2-1 in the 72nd minute on a penalty take by Higuian after Pizarro went down in the box.
Chicharito tied the game just a minute later with a poacher’s goal. McCarthy couldn’t control the ball on a cross into the box and Hernandez scored in the rebound.
Substitute Sacha Kljestan scored off the post in the 81st minute. After the ball was whipped into the box, Sebastian Lletget gathered it and put it on a platter for Kljestian to pick out the bottom corner. The match ended 3-2.
Chicharito with the double!
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 18, 2021
Three Key Takeaways:
Inter attacking energy: I was impressed with the tempo and fitness of Inter Miami given their preseason. They faded a bit in the second half but didn’t drop off entirely. This bodes well.
Chicharito brace: The two goals in this game equaled Chicharito’s goal total from all of last season. The Galaxy grew as the game went along and so did their star striker.
Work-in-progress tactics: Both teams have some exciting attacking players and had to make adjustments, the Galaxy especially. How both teams workout the pieces and their roles is still a work-in-progess, but the Galaxy were onto something with the switches in the second half that added a holding mid and pushed the wide players up.