Anton Tinnerholm celebrates his first-half goal.  (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – In a game that boasted five goals, it was one that wasn’t counted that helped decide New York City FC’s 3-2 win over Inter Miami CF Saturday night.

The hosts thought they had scored in the 86th minute when Julián Carranza slotted home a nifty feed from Gonzalo Higuain. However, the Video Assistant Referee helped determine that Carranza was offside and the goal was nullified.

NYCFC (7-6-2, 23 points) held off Miami the rest of the way and recorded its second consecutive win as the struggling expansion side dropped to 3-10-2 with 11 points.

“It was a tough game,” NYCFC head coach Ronny Deila said. “We played a team that really, really needs points and is getting in quality players. The conditions with the heat and traveling in the same day made it hard for us, but I’m proud of the team. Not every game you can out play the opponent and have full control. Sometimes you have to dig out results. We did that today and it was amazing.

“This team [Miami] is a good team and they will have a lot of points in the last games I’m sure. This is massive for us to keep on winning…we scored three goals away and I can’t be more happy than I am right now.”

In a wild and crazy first half, NYCFC managed to walk into the locker room with a 3-2 lead.

With both defenses – team and backline – giving both teams plenty of room it wasn’t surprising that five goals were scored.

NYCFC struck in the fourth minute on a pretty play from captain Alex Ring to Alexandru Mitrita. Ring sent a looping ball into the penalty area that Mitrita stabbed on the half volley from five yards past goalkeeper Luis Robles for a 1-0 edge.

Inter Miami CF equalized behind the first of Lewis Morgan’s two first-half goals in the 27th minute. Victor Ulloa had three NYCFC players around him, so he shuffled off a pass to Morgan on the right side of the box. Morgan then rifled a shot into the net for a 1-1 tie.

Eight minutes later, City grabbed the lead a second time as right back Anton Tinnerholm, finding oodles of room, fired a 22-yard shot that bounced into the lower left corner and past Robles for his fourth goal of the season.

Morgan leveled things again in the 38th minute, blasting an attempt from the top of the penalty arc into the right corner for his fourth goal of the campaign.

Mitrita connected for his second in the 43rd minute after a marvelous 70-yard run as his shot deflected off a Miami player and into the lower left corner for his fourth goal of the season.

Tinnerholm and Mitrita are tied for the team scoring lead with four goals apiece.

In contrast to the opening 45 minutes, the second half did not have nearly as many fireworks. To be fair to both teams, even with the sloppy defenses, it is difficult to put together back-to-back high-scoring halves.

NYCFC’s best opportunity of that half came toward the waning moments. Robles kept the hosts within striking distance with a save on second-half substitute Mackay-Steven’s one-on-one situation in the 78th minute.

In the waning minutes, Mackay-Stevens charged into Robles outside the penalty area and was assessed a yellow card.

“On one side it’s difficult to understand but easy to explain,” Miami head coach Diego Alonso said. “We clearly made errors that allowed our opponent to score…I think that it’s an issue of concentration, of being focused, and of individual errors that we have to work on and continue giving the team confidence because I think they play well.

“We’re constantly doing more to merit a victory than our opponents, but to win the match we have to be better, and that’s what we have to correct. We have to minimize the amount of errors that we’re making. If not it’s difficult to compete at any level.”