Inter Miami CF earned a crucial 2-1 win over the Columbus Crew on Tuesday night at DRV PNK Stadium in the club’s Kick Childhood Cancer Night presented by Baptist Health Cancer Care. Heineken Man of the Match Gonzalo Higuaín scored a brace to lead Inter Miami to the victory and extend the team’s unbeaten run playing at home in South Florida to five.
Line Up Notes
Inter Miami stepped onto the pitch making three changes to the starting XI from the match against Chicago. Drake Callender started in goal; DeAndre Yedlin, Aimé Mabika, Ryan Sailor, and Chris McVey lined up in defense; captain Gregore, Jean Mota and Alejandro Pozuelo played in the midfield; Ariel Lassiter and Robert Taylor flanked striker Higuaín in attack.
Goalkeeper Callender, defender Mabika and winger Lassiter returned to the starting XI for tonight's fixture. Striker Leonardo Campana, meanwhile, returned to a matchday squad for the first time since the matchup against the San Jose Earthquakes on the road on August 3 after recovering from an injury.
Inter Miami opened the match looking lively in attack, constantly trying to create space in the final third and with Gregore registering the first shot in the first minute of play with a powerful long-range right footed strike that forced a save by Columbus goalkeeper Eloy Room.
The team was rewarded for its efforts in the 25th minute; Taylor fed a perfect through ball into space on the right wing for Lassiter, who then passed the ball to the right for Higuaín as he was entering the box. Higuaín then finished with a right-footed shot to the far post to put the team up 1-0 on the scoreboard. It was Higuaín’s team-leading 11th goal of the 2022 regular season, while the assist was the fourth for Lassiter this campaign.
Columbus was then able to level the match before the half; in the 41st minute Steven Moreira crossed a ball to the far post from the right side of the box, where it was met by a Cucho Hernández header to send it to the back of the net.
After a lengthy weather delay, the second half was able to get underway at DRV PNK Stadium. Both sides returned to the pitch with the same 11 men as in the first 45 minutes of the game.
It was a hardfought second half with opportunities for both sides throughout the half. It was the hosts who scored next though; as Higuaín scored the vital game-winner in the 82nd minute. Pozuelo played a pass to the onrushing Higuaín on the left side of the box, who sent the ball to the back of the net with a precise first time left-footed shot. The goal took Higuaín’s team-leading goal tally to 12, who’s now scored nine times in the last 12 matches, and the assist was the 10th overall for Pozuelo this regular season, the fifth one for him since joining the club in the summer.
Columbus fought hard to find the equalizer in the finals stages of the match. First, second-half sub Yaw Yeboah hit the woodwork with a curled left-footed shot from outside the box in the 88th minute. Then, in the final minute of added time, Callender rose to the occasion with a massive save, tipping over the bar a deflected shot inside the box. In the end, Inter Miami maintained its 2-1 lead throughout the remainder of the match and earned three valuable points for the team’s playoff push.
Heineken Man of the Match
Higuaín earned Heineken Man of the Match honors following his brace and game-winning goal.
“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.”
Inter Miami will be in action again over the weekend, when the team travels to take on D.C. United on Sunday, Sept. 18 at Audi Field. Kickoff in Washington D.C. is set for 5 p.m. ET.
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.
Kick Childhood Cancer Night presented by Baptist Health Cancer Care
The club hosted Kick Childhood Night presented by Baptist Health Cancer Care on Tuesday when Columbus visited DRV PNK Stadium. Inter Miami’s Kick Childhood Cancer Night is one of the club’s initiatives to support the league’s Kick Childhood Cancer (KCC) campaign in an effort to raise awareness of pediatric cancers and fundraise for childhood cancer research throughout the month of September. The match had special features to commemorate Kick Childhood Cancer Night, among them a commemorative Kick Childhood Cancer edition MLS 2022 Official Match Ball by adidas that was used in the match, KCC, adidas Pre-Match Jerseys that were worn by players during pregame and warmups on game day as well as on the bench and side lines, gold corner flags, gold goal nets, gold ribbon jersey patches, and 10,000 yellow Inter Miami and Baptist Health co-branded rally towels that were distributed at each gate and at Baptist Health Fan Zone in the Fan Zone at DRV PNK Stadium.
Inter Miami also celebrated Jeronimo this Kick Childhood Cancer Night. Jeronimo is a 10-year-old Inter Miami fan who was diagnosed with stage 3 medulloblastoma in 2020 and currently is recovering well after finishing his chemotherapy treatment in June 2022. Inter Miami invited Jeronimo and his family to attend the home game against the Crew as guests of honor. Alexandra Herrera, teenager, and South Florida native currently battling a recurrence of rhabdomyosarcoma, was accompanied by the Lourdes Singers from her high school, Our Lady of Lourdes Academy in Miami, to perform the National Anthem prior to the start of the match.
All details about the club’s Kick Childhood Cancer Night and other initiatives to support the KCC campaign this month are available HERE.
Socios.com Fan of the Match
Before the match, Inter Miami announced its Fan of the Match Initiative with Socios.com. The Fan of the Match was invited down to the pitch post-match for a photo opportunity on the field where he was presented with a Heartbeat Kit jersey with the words, Fan of the Match printed on the back.
Sebastian Celeda was named the first ever Socios.com Fan of the Match. Celeda is a Miami native who became an Inter Miami fan in 2019 to support his hometown team. In his fifth game as an official member of La Familia, the 15 year-old fan relentlessly supported the team in the Supporter’s section throughout the full 90 minutes, including the lengthy weather delay at half time, jumping, singing and exhibiting passion for the team and the players.
MIA - 42.3%
CLB - 57.7%
MIA - 11
CLB - 13
MIA - 2
CLB - 4
MIA - 6
CLB - 7
MIA - 16
CLB - 12