Inter Miami CF Stays Hot with 2-1 Win Over Portland Timbers

Inter Miami Portland

Fort Lauderdale, FL – On an enchanted Sunday evening at DRV Pink Stadium, Inter Miami CF played its most alluring fútbol thus far, grasping three enormous points in defeating the Portland Timbers 2-1. Leonardo Campana and Robert Taylor bagged the goals for the Herons. 

From the opening kickoff, the Herons looked like a different team, and it wasn’t just the 2022 Adidas Primeblue kit the squad was sporting. Miami was a fine-tuned orchestra, and Bryce Duke was the masterful conductor. The triumvirate of Gregore, Mota, and Duke meshed beautifully, with the team controlling possession for long stretches. Leo Campana flicked a pass to Bryce Duke at the 14’ with Duke launching a scintillating shot that was blocked by goalkeeper Aljaz Ivaci.

Leonardo Campana put Inter Miami on top at the 27’ with a perfectly placed header into the Portland goal. The buildup to the play showed the increasing fluidity of the Miami squad. Duke received a short pass from McVey, who immediately made a run forward on the wing. Bryce chipped the ball over the Portland defender perfectly to McVey who set his feet placing the cross straight to Campana’s head, GOLAZO! Miami continued its strong play and went into the half with a 1-0 lead. 

The second half began with IMCF substituting Bryce Duke for Robert Taylor. Coach Neville later mentioned that the move was made to prevent the fiery young player from receiving a second yellow. Inter Miami scored on a breakaway at the 58’ minute, with Ariel Lassiter firing a crossing stinger that banged off the goalpost and Robert Taylor putting it in the back of the net off the rebound. The 2-0 lead for Miami seemed proper given the team’s dominance on the pitch.

Portland reacted at the 78’ with Bill Tuiloma heading in a cross by Santiago Moreno for the goal making it 2-1. Miami conceded possession and Portland nearly tied the game on a Christian Paredes missile that clanged off the crossbar at the 90’. The Herons held on for the 2-1 victory and three points that catapulted them to the 7th spot in the Eastern Conference

Postgame Press Conference

Coach Neville came out and stated that he was proud of his team, especially because early on in the season things had not gone right and the squad faced a lot of criticism. He went on to say that the players genuinely get along well with each other and enjoy hanging out together. What caught my attention was the statement he made about the last minutes of the game and the substitutions that he made.

“I wasn’t happy with the last twenty minutes, I’ll take responsibility for that a little bit with the substitutions. I tried to inject some energy. I felt they were on their last knees.’

The coach is ultimately responsible for everything, although player performance has the larger role in the team’s outcome. Neville once again tried to ice a game that appeared in control, and almost gave up the tie. I’d like to see the next phase of this team’s growth be putting teams away instead of trying to hold on, yet you have to admit the team has grown. 

Final Thoughts

Inter Miami CF has orchestrated an amazing turn around to the season up to this point. It’s a testament to the team’s belief in themselves. Early in the campaign many in the fanbase were calling for Neville’s firing, and for Gonzalo Higuain to disappear. Both have been able to hold on and be a part of the changing circumstances for this team. Let’s see what the rest of the season has in store for them.

Inter Miami CF is building steam and many of the players are improving their performance on the pitch. Players have returned from injury, and the squad is almost completely healthy. The return from international break has to be a strong one with the team continuing to build on its late success. Inter Miami CF can be a Dark Horse if they can make it to the MLS Playoffs, and I believe they will. 

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