Ola Kamara lead D.C. United to an emphatic first road win of 2021, as they strolled to a 3-0 victory at Inter Miami. Kamara scored in both halves, while Paul Arriola gave United a crucial second while they were in the ascendancy early in the game.
The Black-and-Red welcomed goalkeeper Bill Hamid into the lineup for the first time this year after offseason surgery and a calf injury. Hernán Losada gave first starts of 2021 to two more United homegrowns in Donovan Pines and Kevin Paredes, and to striker Ola Kamara, who replaced Edison Flores after the Designated Player was diagnosed with a hamstring strain after last week’s game.
Despite the full crowd at DRV PNK Stadium, United got out on the front foot, with chances for Paredes and Kamara. Miami were flat, and United made them pay in the 15th minute. Inter played short from a goal kick, but their slow play was read early by United’s attack. Russell Canouse stepped in ahead of Gregore, poking a Nicolas Figal pass towards Kamara. With no Miami player anywhere near him, Kamara took a solid three seconds to set up his shot before bending the ball around John McCarthy for his second goal of the season.
The home side weren’t heeding the alarms, and United doubled their lead in the 22nd minute. From a throw-in, Junior Moreno pushed play forward to Kamara, who deftly flicked it on for Perez on the left. Perez picked out Arriola in a spot that left him with little angle, but the captain for the night had other ideas, firing low and hard after gaining a foot on Christian Makoun, beating McCarthy and giving United their first two-goal lead of the year.
Miami finally offered something of a reply, with a sharp 35th minute cross from Lewis Morgan picking out Julian Carranza, only for his glanced header floated just barely wide of the far post. At the other end, United nearly made it 3-0 in the 38th minute, after more good work from Julian Gressel — who was unlucky to end the half without at least one assist — set up Perez for a volley that the latter sliced over the bar.
Miami came out with more energy to start the second half, but in the early going had little better to offer than a 40-yard blast from Gonzalo Higuain that went a yard over the bar. Phil Neville made a triple sub in the 61st minute, and Hamid was finally given a real test three minutes later. A Miami corner fell invitingly for Figal, but from close range, his awkward shot was kicked away by Hamid at the last moment.
United were largely dropping off as the hot weather and their early exertions — not to mention the game state — began to dictate their choices. However, that’s not to say they were settling for their lead, and Kamara added another in the 71th minute. A patient build-up after showing discipline to force a turnover in their own end saw the visitors work the ball from right to left, with Moreno feeding Felipe Martins out on the wing. Felipe waited for the runs to appear before feeding Arriola, who sprinted in before clipping the ball to the back post for Kamara to nod past McCarthy, letting the Norwegian marksman take a bow towards the stands.
Losada capped off a great night for United by getting one more player back on the field for the first time this year, with Peruvian international Yordy Reyna subbing on late for Arriola after spending the early weeks of the season on the injured reserve.
Hamid had to make two-thirds of his saves on the night in stoppage time as Miami fruitlessly looked for one goal for their efforts, but ultimately the game concluded without much in the way of drama, resulting in the Black-and-Red’s first road win under Losada.
United, now on 9 points (3W-0D-5L), heads into a three-week international break in 10th place in the East. They’ll return to action with a game against this very same Miami team, this time playing host on June 19 at 8:00pm.
MLS Regular Season - Game 8
Inter Miami 0
D.C. United 3 (Kamara 15, 71; Arriola 22)
Miami (352): John McCarthy; Nicolas Figal, Ryan Shawcross, Christian Makoun (Kelvin Leerdam 61); Lewis Morgan, Victor Ulloa (Brek Shea 46), Gregore, Blaise Matuidi (C) (Jay Chapman 61), Joevin Jones (Edison Azcona 81); Gonzalo Higuain, Julian Carranza (Federico Higuain 61)
DCU (3421): Bill Hamid; Andy Najar (Frederic Brillant 75), Brendan Hines-Ike, Donovan Pines; Julian Gressel, Russell Canouse, Junior Moreno (Moses Nyeman 80), Kevin Paredes (Felipe Martins 61); Paul Arriola (C) (Yordy Reyna 80), Adrien Perez (Joseph Mora 46); Ola Kamara
Miami - Figal 52
DCU - Paredes 52, Arriola 52, Hines-Ike 92+