Miami Clásico shatters attendance record, brings soccer fans across city to FIU

Midfielder Bolu Akinyode for Miami FC dribbling the ball. Photo by Lilimariee Quintanal | PantherNOW.

Brian Olmo | Sports Director

While FIU soccer doesn’t officially start until the fall, that doesn’t mean students still can’t catch an exciting game on campus. 

Miami FC and Inter Miami battled it out in a close match that resulted in a thrilling penalty shootout at the 2023 Miami Clásico in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, April 26 at FIU Stadium.

Fans showed up in droves, breaking Miami FC’s attendance record with 12,099 attendees. It was a packed house as supporters of both clubs came to cheer on their favorite team in what has become a highly anticipated game between the city rivals. 

The last Miami Clásico in 2022 saw Inter Miami get the better of Miami FC, winning 1-0. 

Kick-off was at 7:36 p.m. and Miami FC wasted no time taking an early lead as Christian Sorto scored a goal in the first two minutes of the match, 1-0.

Inter Miami held 78% possession of the ball and had five shots taken to Miami FC’s two for the remainder of the half, but the team couldn’t carve out any sort of advantage thanks to Miami FC’s defense which had 11 tackles and eight interceptions. 

However, Inter Miami finally converted on one of their opportunities to send the game to overtime when Jean Mota hit from the right side of the pitch to the far post to find Shanyder Borgelin for a header in the 89th minute, 1-1. 

After back-and-forth missed chances by both teams, Miami FC went up 2-1 thanks to an own goal by Inter Miami’s DeAndre Yelin in the 116th minute of the match, 

With only four minutes left to tie the game, Inter Miami’s aggressive approach resulted in yet another last-minute score, this time courtesy of Ryan Sailor, to send the game to a tense penalty shootout.

Both teams made their first three penalty kicks. Miami FC missed the crucial fourth kick and that would be the deciding factor. Kamal Miller would seal the deal, making his kick as Inter Miami pulled away 5-3 to advance to the Round of 32.

Despite the loss, the match was a promising sign of Miami FC’s progress, showing that the club can compete with an MLS team. 

Follow Brian Olmo on Twitter at @Brian_Olmo11 

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