Recap_9.30_16x9

Inter Miami CF (13W-13L-6D, 45 points) was guided to a monumental 0-1 win over Toronto FC by a late winner from in-form striker Gonzalo Higuaín, who replicated his heroics from the team’s last two matches. The team has now won three consecutive matches and will return home for two final regular season games amidst a tight playoff race. Higuaín has now recorded 12 goals and two assists in his last 14 matches.

Lineup Notes

Inter Miami took to the field with the same starting XI it featured in its last match, a 2-3 win over D.C. United before the international break. 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; Leonardo Campana and Higuaín led the line in attack.

Inter Miami fielded the same exact starting XI in consecutive games for the second time this season, and the first time since mid-April (April 9 vs. NE, April 16 @ SEA). Pozuelo slotted into the starting XI against his former team for the second time this season, after registering an assist against Toronto in August. Lowe and Yedlin, meanwhile, started after returning from international duty with Jamaica and the United States respectively.

Match Action

Momentum shifted throughout the first half, but it was Inter Miami who opened the match in control. The visitors began the match with sharp passing and movement, dictating the rhythm of the match, but having chances cut out by the Toronto defense in the final third.

Following the opening moments, Toronto began to grow into the match, attacking mostly in transition. Important defensive interventions by Inter Miami’s center backs, though, kept the scoreline level. Notably, in the 14th minute both Lowe and Mabika made consecutive tackles in the box to stifle a promising attack for the hosts.

Callender was then called into action on a few occasions, including a crucial save in the 37th minute; the goalkeeper made a quick adjustment to adapt to the changed direction of a powerful, deflected strike by Federico Bernardeschi.

In attack, Inter Miami had a number of chances itself, including one from a curled ball in by Gregore that found the run of Higuaín behind the defense, but his first-time strike hit the side netting. Shots from Gregore and Pozuelo throughout the half also drew saves by Westberg, sending the match into halftime scoreless.

Inter Miami hit the throttle in the second half, again controlling possession but applying more pressure on Toronto and creating more looks at goal. Pozuelo unlocked the defense on a number of occasions, playing Campana and second-half substitute Ariel Lassiter in behind the defense with threaded passes, but the opening goal evaded them.

Then, in the 86th minute, Higuaín again did what he has done in each of the team’s last two matches, netting a crucial late winner for the team as it fights to stay above the playoff line; Mota played a ball to second-half substitute Robert Taylor, who then clipped an incisive ball to Higuaín at the top of the box, where the striker then feinted to his right, took the ball onto his left foot and calmly slotted it inside the post and into the back of the net to make it 0-1. The goal continued his scorching run of form, taking him up to 12 goals in his last 14 matches, and 14 total goals on the season. The assist, meanwhile, marked Taylor’s second in MLS this season, while the secondary assist for Mota brought his tally up to three.

The win marked Inter Miami’s third in a row, including two straight on the road, which has lifted the team above the playoff line. It also extended the team’s winning streak over Toronto to four straight.

Heineken Man of the Match

Higuaín was named Heineken Man of the Match after his late heroics guided the team to victory for a third consecutive match

Post-Match Reaction

"This group is an amazing group and now they’re beginning to believe what we’ve believed in them from day one and it’s great to see. I think it helps when you’ve got a center forward [Higuaín] that’s carrying the team towards the playoffs," said head coach Phil Neville.

Next Match

Inter Miami will now head home for the final week of the 2022 regular season to celebrate Fan Appreciation Week. First, the team will face Orlando City SC at DRV PNK Stadium on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. ET. Then, the team will close the regular season with a Decision Day matchup against Eastern Conference two-seed CF Montréal at DRV PNK Stadium on Sunday. Oct. 9 at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Discounted tickets, beginning at $25, are available for Fan Appreciation Week for the remaining two matches of the MLS Regular Season. Learn more about Fan Appreciation Week here and secure discounted tickets here.

Stats

Possession:
TOR -
41%

MIA - 59%

Shots:
TOR -
11

MIA - 14

Saves:
TOR -
4

MIA - 3

Corners:
TOR -
3

MIA - 3

Fouls:
TOR -
6

MIA - 15