Inter Miami Snaps Losing Streak, Campana And Cremaschi Shine

Inter Miami Columbus Crew Field – Inter Miami CF ground out a 2-1 win over Columbus Crew on the road Saturday night to snap a six-game regular season losing streak. Leonardo Campana scored a first-half brace, and Benjamin Cremaschi had a notable performance in his first career start to lead the Herons.

Kick Off

The Starting XI for the Herons had one tweak from their previous MLS match versus Houston Dynamo FC, with coach Neville exchanging Rodolfo Pizarro for Benjamin Cremaschi.

The Herons began the match with good off-the-ball movements which led them to get on the scoreboard early.

Franco Negri made a series of fakes to get free of his mark and sent Nico Stefanelli a pass near the sideline. Stefanelli turned and lofted a pass to Benjamin Cremaschi, who flicked the ball forward with his head to a charging Leonardo Campana. The Ecuadorean international in one motion pummeled the ball past Crew goalie Patrick Schulte for the 0-1 lead at 7′ minutes of match play.

Columbus answered almost immediately tying the score with a Cucho Hernandez boom blast past a diving Drake Callender at the 10′ minute mark.

Columbus would go on to dominate ball possession and match action for the half without making it count on the scoreboard.

Miami’s Leo Campana put his squad in the lead at the 41′ minute with a lovely soaring header off a corner kick cross by Jean Mota.

The Herons went into halftime with a 2-1 lead that they would not relinquish.

Despite the Crew’s all-out effort to tie the game in the second half, Inter Miami CF held their defensive posture throughout holding on for their first victory in their last seven matches.

Postgame Press Conference

Coach Neville made a pair of interesting comments after the game, a game the Crew completely controlled statistically but lost, similar to some Inter Miami matches during their losing streak,

“The players deserve all the credit, they controlled the game even without the ball.”

Neville went to Columbus with the idea of conceding the ball to the Crew but dictating defensively where they would have possession while looking to take advantage of scoring opportunities. Miami played in a 5-4-1 formation during most of the game stacking the middle of the pitch forcing Columbus to play wide or run into a defensive wall.

“I think this league is really simple, if you defend and play with really good spirit and you have a goal scorer a DP that scores goals, then your going to be successful.”

Inter Miami CF found success playing the ugliest game of their last seven matches. In previous games, Miami was the team controlling the stats line without any success. I hope Phil and the squad can find a happy medium between controlling possession and a strong defensive scheme.

Final Thoughts

The losing streak is finally over, and it happened in the unlikeliest of ways, with Inter Miami CF conceding possession while being ruthless. Neville drew up the gameplan and the Herons executed, with Leo Campana putting in a brace against Columbus.

Leonardo Campana finally looked healthy like his better version last season. Campana was active, pivoting and making nice passes to the Miami midfielders along with making runs of his own behind the Crew defense. A fit Leo changes everything for the Heron attack.

Benjamin Cremaschi supplied the energy and youthful exuberance that the team needed to get out of the funk they were in. Cremaschi defended at a high rate while simultaneously linking up with teammates all over the pitch. Benja’s high IQ flick with his head led to Leo Campana’s first goal, and his first MLS career assist.

David Ruiz entered the match for Cremaschi and played a brilliant game in his own right. David contained Lucas Zelarayan preventing the skilled Columbus midfielder from creating anything special for his team.

Nico Stefanelli looked livelier and more confident against the Crew. The Argentine midfielder is beginning to be more consistent and is starting to look like the player I saw in the preseason for Miami.

Phil Neville and the boys live to fight another day and fight they will because this group believes in each other. The noise outside the locker room is drowned out by their confidence that they can do something special this season.

Don’t stop believing, the theme for this season.

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