Ercan Kara nets goal, assist as Orlando City beats Inter Miami

Ercan Kara (9) celebrates after scoring Orlando City's opening goal against Inter Miami CF during the first half at DRV PNK Stadium.
Ercan Kara (9) celebrates after scoring Orlando City's opening goal against Inter Miami CF during the first half at DRV PNK Stadium.
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Ercan Kara had a hand in two goals to help lead Orlando City to a 3-1 win over host Inter Miami in the first Florida derby of the 2023 MLS season Saturday night.

On the game-winning goal for Orlando City (5-4-4, 19 points) in the 68th minute, Kara got the ball just past the midfield line and looped a through ball over the Miami backline for second-half substitute Martin Ojeda to run to.

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With no Miami defender in sight, goalkeeper Drake Callender charged out, but Ojeda calmly slid the ball to Callender's right to retake the lead. Ojeda's fellow second-half sub Rodrigo Schlegel had started the move, setting up Kara's through ball.

Then in the 86th minute, Rafael Santos finished off a counter-attacking move with a low, hard shot. Ojeda put the ball into the box where Duncan McGuire, who replaced Kara, held the ball up before finding Santos.

Miami (5-8-0, 15 points) had evened the game up in the 57th minute through striker Leonardo Campana on Miami's first shot of the night. Josef Martinez found Campana just outside of the Orlando City box to goalkeeper Pedro Gallese's left. Campana deftly cut back toward the middle of the field and ripped a shot from outside the box that split the defense and snuck just under the bar.

It was Miami's third loss at home this season, and in each game, Miami surrendered the game-opening goal.

In the first half, Miami had failed to test Orlando's Gallese, failed to record a single shot, much less a shot on goal. Orlando's defense pushed Miami's attack largely to the wide spaces, largely nullifying Campana and Martinez.

Kara gave Orlando City the lead in the 19th minute with his fourth goal this season. Orlando won a throw deep in the Inter Miami half, and Cesar Araujo's long throw found Kara just wide of the near post. Despite three Miami defenders crowding Kara, he was able to nod the ball backward and over Callender.

Kara had nearly opened the scoring 10 minutes earlier when Ivan Angulo crossed the ball to an open Kara near the middle of the Miami box. Kara got his head to the ball, but the ball found only the post.

To no one's surprise, the Florida derby was full of physical play. Miami finished with four yellow cards to three for Orlando City while both teams finished deadlocked with 12 fouls a piece.