Inter Miami CF earned a crucial road victory for its playoff hopes, winning 2-3 against D.C. United at Audi Field on Sunday evening. Leonardo Campana netted a brace in his first start since his return from injury, and Gonzalo Higuaín scored a stoppage time winner.
Line Up Notes
Inter Miami fielded a starting XI with three changes from its midweek win over the Columbus Crew. Drake Callender started in goal; DeAndre Yedlin, Damion Lowe, Aimé Mabika and Chris McVey formed the team’s back four in defense; Jean Mota started at the base of a midfield diamond with captain Gregore and Bryce Duke in front of him, while Alejandro Pozuelo lined up at the point of the diamond; Campana and Higuaín led the line in attack.
Campana, Duke and Lowe returned to the starting XI for the fixture, while the team’s top scorers coming into the match - Higuaín and Campana - and the top assist providers - midfielders Duke and Pozuelo - started together for the first time.
The hosts hit first in the match, scoring the opener in the 22nd minute. Chris Durkin latched onto a loose ball outside of the box and clipped a ball to the back post where Christian Benteke connected with the pass and slotted it inside the post to take the 1-0 lead.
Callender then stepped up to prevent a second goal, diving low to his left to make a save on a precise shot at the near post fromTaxiarchis Fountas in the 25th minute.
In the 39th minute, Inter Miami responded with an equalizer; Higuaín whipped in a corner and after a scramble in the box, Campana connected with the loose ball and struck his shot into the back of the net to make it 1-1 heading into halftime.
Inter Miami claimed its first lead of the match early in the second half. In the 53rd minute, Mota hit a long switch to Campana at the far post, where the striker nodded a pass back to Pozuelo in front of goal. The Spaniard then touched the ball down and allowed it to run to Campana in front of goal, who slid and finished at the near post for his brace. The goal marked his second in two games since his return from injury and his 10th of the season, while the assist brought Pozuelo’s tally to six with Inter Miami, and 11 on the season. The goal also made Inter Miami just the fourth team this season to have two players reach double digit goals in MLS, and marked the first time in Club history two Inter Miami players reached the milestone in the same campaign.
D.C. United was the next to find the back of the net, scoring an equalizer just four minutes later. A set piece was headed back to the top of the box and Fountas struck a volley that took a heavy deflection and found the back of the net.
Inter Miami continued to push for a winner for the remainder of the match, eventually finding its rewards in the fourth minute of stoppage time. Second-half substitute Vassilev played Yedlin down the right wing and the defender threaded a precise low cross between defenders to Higuaín in front of goal. The Argentine then made no mistake, calmly striking his effort past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net for the late winner. The goal extended his scintillating form, marking his 10th in his last 13 matches, and his 13th of the season. The assist, meanwhile, was Yedlin’s fourth of the campaign and the secondary assist marked Vassilev’s first in MLS.
The win put Inter Miami above the playoff line with 31 matches played, vaulting the team above the Columbus Crew on the first tiebreaker, total wins.
The league will now enter an international break. Inter Miami will return to action for the final stages of its playoff push on Friday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. ET when it visits Toronto FC.
Individual match tickets for each remaining regular season home match on the Inter Miami CF schedule are available by visiting https://www.intermiamicf.com/tickets/single. Fans can also call 305-428-0611 to learn more.
D.C. - 43%
MIA - 57%
D.C. - 17
MIA - 8
D.C. - 2
MIA - 3
D.C. - 5
MIA - 5
D.C. - 11
MIA - 9