Touchline Talk presented by Al-Flex
Inter Miami CF claimed an important three points at home at DRV PNK Stadium on Tuesday, Sept. 13 against the Columbus Crew. With the victory, Inter Miami now sits just two points behind Columbus as the team makes its push for a playoff spot.
A brace from Heineken Man of the Match Gonzalo Higuain lifted the Herons past Caleb Porter’s men; Higuaín has now scored nine goals in his last twelve games, assisted tonight by sublime efforts from Ariel Lassiter for the first goal, and Alejandro Pozuelo for the second. Higuaín’s pair of goals propels his 2022 MLS regular season tally to twelve goals this season. Pozuelo and Lassiter both saw their assists for the season increase to five and four respectively.
Head coach Phil Neville praised the team’s resilience and mental fortitude going into this match against a formidable opponent.
“Tonight, they got back to the standards that we asked them to return to, that we expect of them,” Neville said. “We had players for two and a half hours [during the weather delay] that were really focused. They wanted the game to go on tonight, and when they went out in the second half, they did everything they could to win that game of fútbol. It’s a big effort from both sides, both sets of players, and it was always going to be the team that had the mental toughness, the mental ability to keep going right until the very end.”
Neville also praised Higuaín, who has long been a leader on the team, and the Argentine’s ability to rally his teammates during a difficult period of the season.
“[Gonzalo’s] leading the team, he’s inspiring everyone in that dressing room. I think what he’s found, is not just a player in Pozuelo that’s on the same wavelength as him, but he’s found a dressing room that adores him, that respects him, looks up to him, and also needs him for these big moments. During the rain delay, he was the one that was driving everyone on. He doesn’t need the [captain’s] armband; it’s his body language, it’s his behaviors that we’ve seen over the last four, five months that have been world class. With Leo Campana back, it feels like we’ve now got our top two scorers ready to play, to fire us to where we want to get to.”
Higuaín noted that while tonight’s victory was equally as thrilling as it was important, the team’s focus was still firmly on the upcoming games and the competition for a playoff position.
“Tonight, my feeling is complete happiness. It was a super important game for us, against a direct rival. We knew we had to come out in the second half to win, and we gave everything to do that. Now four games remain, and we have to continue on this path and build on the confidence that we have, and find even more with the playoffs in reach. That’s our ultimate goal.”
Inter Miami CF faces D.C. United in its next match on the road on Sunday, Sept. 18. The match at Audi Field kicks off at 8 p.m. ET, and will be broadcasted on My33, UniMás and the Inter Miami App.