MIAMI – Inter Miami CF (10W-5D-15L, 35 points) earned a 3-0 victory over Toronto FC in its return to DRV PNK Stadium on Wednesday night after four matches on the road. The scoreline marked the largest margin of victory in Inter Miami history thanks to goals from Heineken Man of the Match Federico Higuaín, Christian Makoun and a Toronto own goal off of a Lewis Morgan header.
“Ultimately we want to win every game. We want to build momentum to win the next game. Hopefully, we can have that over the next week,” said head coach Phil Neville. “We now look forward to playing in front of our unbelievable supporters. We just gotta make sure we go on a run now.”
Inter Miami made three changes to the starting lineup from its previous match; Brek Shea, Jay Chapman, and Federico Higuaín returned to the XI in place of Sami Guediri, Blaise Matuidi and Robbie Robinson. The start marked the older Higuaín brother’s first since late July and his fifth of the season. Chapman, meanwhile, once again got the starting nod against his former team.
It was the hosts who started on the front foot, seemingly scoring a goal within two minutes as Chapman slipped a pass into the box for Federico Higuaín, who dinked a shot past the keeper, but the goal was disallowed as he was offside. The move, however, was a sign of things to come.
In the 10th minute, Federico Higuaín pressed Toronto high up the field and won possession, intercepting a pass from Toronto goalkeeper Alex Bono in the box before firing his shot into the back of the net for the early 1-0 lead. The goal was the midfielder’s second of the season.
The team continued to push for more following its opening goal and eventually capitalizing on an opportunity just before halftime. In the 43rd minute, Gonzalo Higuaín stepped up to take a free kick from outside of the box and stung a powerful attempt off the hands of the keeper for a corner. Moments later, after an initial corner, Gonzalo Higuaín stepped up for another opportunity to deliver a corner into the box, whipping a ball across the face of goal that eventually fell to Christian Makoun at the far post. The defender deftly controlled the ball and struck a precise low shot inside the post and past the keeper to extend the lead to 2-0. The goal was Makoun’s second of the campaign, with the first also coming against Toronto, and the assist was Gonzalo Higuaín’s team-leading sixth. The goal was the final one before the halftime whistle as Inter Miami entered the break with a two-goal lead.
The hosts continued to assert themselves in the second half, striking again in the 61st minute. Just prior to the goal, a corner from Federico Higuaín found Makoun again at the far post, who connected with his right foot and struck a shot that drew a reaction save from Bono. The elder Higuaín once again took the ensuing corner, finding Lewis Morgan at the near post, who flicked a header that deflected off of a Toronto defender and found the back of the net to make it 3-0.
Despite continued attacking threat, the scoreline settled at 3-0, resulting in three points at home for Inter Miami in its return to DRV PNK Stadium.
Inter Miami will be back in action on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. ET when it hosts FC Cincinnati at DRV PNK Stadium for its second-to-last home match of the regular season.
Inter Miami CF media relations contributed to this column