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2020 Major League Soccer, Regular Season
  • Carlos Vela (44')

Vela chip the difference as LAFC spoils Inter Miami's MLS debut

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Carlos Vela picked up right where he left off in winning the MLS Golden Boot as the league's top goal scorer in 2019, scoring in the 44th minute, and host Los Angeles FC held off expansion club Inter Miami 1-0 Saturday afternoon in the season opener.

LAFC, last year's Supporters Shield winners with the league's best record, handed Miami a defeat in the club's first ever game as an MLS franchise.

Vela, who celebrated his 31st birthday Sunday, put three of his five shots on goal in the game. The Mexican star's goal was the result of his own work, as he chested and dribbled the ball away from four defenders just outside the box before chipping the ball over Miami goalkeeper Luis Robles' outstretched arm.

Robles kept his team close with eight saves, and Miami had a number of scoring chances, but could not get one past Kenneth Vermeer in the LAFC net. Vermeer had seven saves.

Vermeer went down in a heap when Miami's Alvas Powell ran into him as the two took a path to a loose ball in the 64th minute. Powell was shown a yellow card, and Vermeer stayed in the game.

Miami's last chance for a draw came on a free kick from outside the box from former LAFC midfielder Lee Nguyen, but it was blocked and cleared.

LAFC outshot Miami 21-15 for the game, with five shots (four on goal) from Diego Rossi and four (two on goal) from 19-year-old designated player Brian Rodriguez of Uruguay.

Rodolfo Pizarro, Miami's biggest-name signing before the season, finished with a team-leading four shots, putting two on net.

Inter Miami president David Beckham attended the match with club partners. Beckham played in MLS for LAFC's rival club, the LA Galaxy, from 2007 to 2012.