Inter Miami CF Closes Regular Season with Loss to CF Montreal

Inter Miami CF Montreal

Fort Lauderdale, FL – Gray skies over DRV PNK Stadium pre-match were an indication of the dreary game Inter Miami CF would play against CF Montreal Sunday afternoon. The Herons stumbled right out of the gates and lost 1-3 to a strong CF Montreal squad.

The defeat did not diminish the pre-game celebration of Gonzalo Higuain in his last regular season game at home for Miami. The esteemed Argentine striker recently announced that this would be the last season of his storied career.

The Starting XI for Inter Miami saw two modifications from the previous match against Orlando City SC. Captain Gregore and Ariel Lassiter were back in the lineup chosen by Neville.

Not The Start We Needed

The match action quickly saw approximations and opportunities by both sides early on. Jean Mota had a free-kick parried away by Montreal keeper James Pantemis at the 2′ minute.

Montreal scored a goal at the 5′ minute courtesy of an Inter Miami gaffe by goalie Drake Callender. Damion Lowe gave Callender a short pass, and Drake’s first touch on the ball went long allowing Ismaël Koné to dislodge him of possession. Djordje Mihailovic opportunely put the loose ball into the Miami goal. 0-1 Montreal.

The Heron’s sloppy play would continue as Mihailovic sliced through the defense and served a pass across the box for Lassi Lappalainen to easily tap into goal at the 8′ minute. Montreal led 0-2 and it looked like it could be a blowout.

Things went from bad to worse at the 36′ minute when Kei Kamara received a pass, turned and left Damion Lowe behind on his way to Montreal’s third goal. 0-3 before the half and it looked like the boys from Canada were on vacation, having their way with Inter Miami.

The dreadful first half would end 0-3 in Montreal’s favor, with the Herons unable to score any of their opportunities, and lucky Montreal did not score more.

Slight Improvement?

The second half had Miami make several substitutions that saw the team’s performance improve somewhat. CF Montreal still controlled the match, but it wasn’t total domination like in the first.

Harvey Neville crossed a slicing service into the Montreal box that was kicked in by the defender Joel Waterman for the own goal.  CF Montreal continued to lead 1-3, and that’s the way the gloomy match would end. Not the best way to go into the playoffs for Miami.

Postgame Press Conference

After the ugly loss Phil came into the press conference with several nuggets, but I’m going to direct my focus to his opening line,

“Real strange game, really.”

Those four words say it all. A catastrophic game for Inter Miami CF after playing a memorable one against Orlando City just Wednesday night. The eternal “let down” game after an emotional and inspiring win.

The Herons came into the game on a fantastic four game winning streak, and it had to end at some point, but did it have to be this ugly?

The good thing is Miami now has a chance to get on another winning streak, one that could possibly mean a league title.

I asked Robert Taylor if the loss going into the playoffs would affect the team’s confidence,

“I don’t think it affects the confidence that much, it just gives us more, willing to show what we can actually do. So, we want to prove everyone wrong again, and win the next game.”

Now it’s own to the next game, lose and you’re out, win and you stay in. Pozuelo will likely be back against NYCFC, and he has feasted against the pigeons in his career. I’m sure Gonzalo will be happy to see Alejandro on the pitch, now Leo Campana might need another week of recovery, but his return has not been ruled out completely yet.

Final Thoughts

What an improbable, fascinating roller coaster of a season it has been so far. There have been the ups and downs you would expect, but very few expected the Herons to make the playoffs. Now they are here, and anything can happen. Monday night we will see if this unlikely team can continue to surprise, but in order to do so they must be much better than they were against CF Montreal.

Monday Night Fútbol, in NYC, under the prime-time lights, it doesn’t get much bigger than that. The Herons’ true colors will come out, and if this season has been any indication, they will be a victorious Rosa Negro.

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