Fire earn draw vs. Inter Miami in coach Ezra Hendrickson’s debut
The Fire had the best scoring chance when Stanislav Ivanov rattled the far post with a shot in the 31st minute.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The Fire and Inter Miami played to a scoreless tie in their Major League Soccer season opener Saturday. It was the Fire’s first game under new coach Ezra Hendrickson.
‘‘I thought first half was really, really good,’’ Hendrickson said. ‘‘[In the] second half, we got a little gassed toward the end, but the guys put in the effort. It’s a point on the road. We’ll take it. But we know that there’s some stuff we need to work on.’’
The Fire had the best scoring chance of either team when Stanislav Ivanov rattled the far post with a shot in the 31st minute. They had another chance right before halftime when Xherdan Shaqiri slipped a ball behind Miami’s back line to Ivanov, whose shot required a kick save by goalkeeper Clement Diop.
The closest Miami came to scoring in the first half was on a header by Leonardo Campana — off a cross from Gonzalo Higuain — that hit the crossbar.
The teams then exchanged chances late in the second half. In the 85th minute, Fire substitute Jhon Duran picked up a ball from 25 yards out and struck a shot that glanced off the outside of the post.
Two minutes later, Miami was on the attack when Ariel Lassiter unleashed a shot to the near post that forced Fire goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina to make a diving save.
‘‘It felt great to be on the field, and I think it’s a positive step for a successful season,’’ said Slonina, who wore a ‘‘No War in Ukraine’’ T-shirt under his jersey.
The Fire will play their home opener at 5 p.m. Saturday against Orlando City at Soldier Field.