Gonzalo Higuain’s Brace Sparks Inter Miami CF Over Columbus Crew 2-1

Inter Miami Columbus

Ft. Lauderdale – In a season-defining game Inter Miami CF defeated Columbus Crew 2-1 powered by Gonzalo Higuain’s two-goal performance.  The win put the Herons within two points of seventh place Columbus in the race for a playoff spot. The game was delayed over two hours due to inclement weather, a recurring theme for Miami at home.

The Starting XI for the Herons had three changes from the previous match against Chicago Fire. Drake Callender was back in goal, with Aime Mabika at center-back and Ariel Lassiter on the wings against the Crew.

First Half

A minute and thirty seconds into match action, Gregore ripped a shot that was parried by Columbus keeper Eloy Room. Minutes later Drake Callender made a spectacular diving block of a Cucho Hernandez free kick.

As the match went on, Columbus settled and took possession, while Miami waited for the counter.

In a textbook counterattack, Inter Miami scored in the 24′ minute via a Gonzalo Higuain shot into the corner of the Columbus Crew goal. Jean Mota intercepted a cross into the Miami box and quickly played the ball out to Robert Taylor. Taylor dribbled until a streaking Ariel Lassiter provided an option for a long pass. Lassiter received the pass on the right flank forcing the Columbus center-back out to him. Gonzalo Higuain made a run behind the Crew defense giving Lassiter the option to serve him an assist on a platter. Gonzalo collected the pass and gracefully slipped it passed the charging Columbus goalie, GOLAZO!! Miami was up 1-0.

Cucho Hernandez would tie the game for Columbus at the 41′ minute with a well-placed header past Drake Callender. The first half would end 1-1.

Second Half

The second half began at 11:35 pm after a 2-and-a-half-hour weather delay, and surprisingly both squads came out energetic. The pace of the game was faster, and the action was from goal to goal.

In the 81′ minute the two difference makers for Inter Miami would team up to give the Herons the 2-1 lead. Alejandro Pozuelo once again beamed a perfect pass to Gonzalo Higuain who smashed the left-footed shot into the Columbus net.

Pozuelo received a ball outside of the Columbus box and brilliantly filtered the pass to Higuain who was in a bubble surrounded by five Crew players. Higuain turned to make a wonderful run behind the Crew defenders to smash the ball into the Columbus net for his second GOLAZO of the game! Gonzalo once again made an important goal for the Herons this season.

The final result was 2-1 for Miami, keeping the squad in the chase for a playoff spot with four games to go in the regular season.

Postgame Press Conference

Phil Neville began the postgame press conference by saying,

“We’re really pleased with the result, we got to move on to D.C. now, we know exactly where we are going. Some people might doubt us, but we don’t.”

The belief and togetherness of this team are what give it a chance. A chance to make the playoffs, and a chance to surprise while in them.

The season has been a roller coaster for Miami, with highs and lows, dips and turns. It’s not normal for a team to play at times like one of the best teams in the league and at others like one of the worst. The moment is now for Inter Miami CF to show their fans exactly which team they really are.  Consistent quality play is the expectation for the remainder of this campaign, however long that may be.

In regards to Gonzalo Higuain, Phil stated,

“At the moment we have a goal scorer that’s winning us games.”

Higuain has turned back the clock to his prime goal-scoring days. His current pace is fantastic and world-class. I said early in the season that he would have his opportunity to redeem himself to the fanbase, and he has in a big way. We are seeing a legend remind everyone how great he has been in his career.

Final Thoughts

Gonzalo Higuain and Alejandro Pozuelo led Inter Miami CF to a crucial victory against Columbus Crew on Tuesday night.  They will have to shoulder that burden together for the next four games in order to lead this team to the postseason. DP’s have to show up big in the most important games of the season.

It’s no coincidence that when Bryce Duke is on the field, Pozuelo has more space and time to operate. I’d love to see Phil pair Duke and Pozuelo for longer periods of time in games.

Ariel Lassiter quietly had a monster game against the Crew. He sprinted up and down the wing all night long, helping on the attack and on defense. He also provided the assist for Gonzalo’s first goal after outpacing Columbus players to receive a great pass from Robert Taylor.

Gregore is a very good midfielder for Miami, he is all over the field every game. I’d wish he would be given more responsibility closer to the defense in order to allow Jean Mota or Bryce Duke to roam more and create. It’s evident that Duke or Mota are more technical and naturally have the ability for that mission. It’s also evident to me that Gregore defends like no one else on this squad.

The win against Columbus Crew was Huge! It provided the Herons the Freedom to Dream about a playoff spot. There can’t be hiccups for this squad. The season hinges on the next four games, with a little help from others.

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