Inter Miami CF improves MLS Cup Playoffs chances with big win

Inter Miami CF improves their MLS Cup Playoffs chances with a 1-0 win in Toronto FC's last home game this year

\TORONTO, ON – Inter Miami CF improves their MLS Cup Playoffs chances with a big win against Toronto FC. It did not look good for the road side to start the game. However, thanks to a solid second-half performance and great defence, Miami comes away with the win.

Inter Miami CF improves their playoff chances at BMO Field

Three keys to the game

Toronto FC did not take advantage of their scoring opportunities

Toronto FC was the better team in the first half. However, they did not take advantage of their scoring opportunities. There were a lot of them, but here are a few that comes to mind.

  • Michael Bradley passed the ball o Lorenzo Insigne. He then found Jesús Jiménez, but he was a bit slow in trying to capitalize on the scoring chance.
  • Mark-Anthony Kaye’s pass was not great in the 21-minute.
  • Domenico Criscito’s shot was off-target in the 21-minute.
  • Kaye delivered a terrific weighted pass to Insigne, but his shot was off-target.

Insigne’s shot in the 65-minute being a bit too high, might have been the best chance Toronto had. Laryea assisted in that play, but the second-half chances were fewer and were a big reason why they lost on Friday.

Inter Miami CF played good defence

Miami had to play good defence to win the game. There were a few key plays that Inter Miami made that could be the difference between winning and losing:

  • Leonardo Campana cleared the ball confidently in the 11-minute.
  • Federico Bernadeschi’s shot was saved by Inter Miami CF goalkeeper, Drake Callender. A good defensive play though was made via a deflection from Alejandro Pozuelo.

Miami also did a good job to make sure Toronto did not have a shot on goal in the second half. They were more organized defensively and did not have to make brilliant individual defensive plays like in the first half. This and their ability to get behind TFC’s backline were the reasons why they won the game.

Inter Miami CF’s passes troubled Toronto FC

If one watches the game closely, one would notice where TFC was troubled. Miami did a great way to connect passes and trouble TFC’s backline. The two most notable ones were:

  • In the 75-minute, Alejandro Pozuelo found Miami’s number 11, which forced Quentin Westberg to make a double save, including making a save from Gonzalo Higuain in the following shot.
  • On the goal, it was a terrific and well-planned goal. Alejandro Pozuelo started the play and passed the ball to Jean Mota. Mota then passed it to Robert Taylor, who quickly passed the ball to Higuain for the goal.

This type of play was even seen in the first half. This includes the cross to Higuain by Sam Gregory. Then in the 33-minute, Mavinga had to make a fantastic defensive play as Miami was able to get behind Toronto’s backline.

Game Overview as Inter Miami CF improves MLS Cup Playoffs chances

TFC did play well defensively. Most notably, Mavinga made two big defensive plays. Also, Shane O’Neill also made a big defensive play to prevent a sure goal from happening. Quentin Westberg also made some big saves for Toronto FC when Miami got behind TFC’s backline.

The biggest fault for Toronto was probably them not getting a shot on goal in the second half. Yes, they did not score in the first half, but at least they got shots on goal. They also only earn one point in their last three home games this year. They also lost to their Canadian Classique rivals, CF Montreal, and before that drew against the LA Galaxy by a score of 2-2.

What this means for Inter Miami CF

Inter Miami CF got three critical points in the MLS Cup Playoffs race. They have played one more game than the Columbus Crew SC but are now three points ahead of them. With their next two games at home, Miami will look to solidify their playoff position.

However, saying that, they will not be easy games. The Florida Derby rival, Orlando City SC will come to Fort Lauderdale on October 5 at 8:00 p.m. ET. They then must face CF Montreal, who has played very well on the road on October 9 at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Both games will take place at DRV PNK Stadium. The first game will be shown live on MLS Live on DAZN, CBS 4, and Fox 35 Plus. The October 9 game will be shown live on My33. It will also be shown in Canada on TVA Sports. It will also be televised nationally in Canada on TSN and TSN1. Additionally, the two remaining Miami games will be shown on UniMás.

What this means for Toronto FC

The Toronto FC season is over. Whatever they do next game, will not mean much in the grand scheme of things. Missing the MLS Cup Playoffs a second year in a row is not what TFC fans and pundits would have thought before the season started. The defence has improved later into the season. However, sometimes there is too much pressure put on the defence, which the midfielders should find a way to prevent. Goalkeeping is another issue for Toronto, but Westberg did play well against Miami on Friday.

TFC will travel to Chester, Pennsylvania to face the Philadelphia Union on October 9 at 2:30 p.m. ET. That game will be shown nationally in Canada on TSN. This will most likely be the last TFC game to be shown on TSN before MLS decides to move their games permanently to Apple TV next year. The only thing Toronto can do is try and spoil the party for the Union. They are tied in points right now with Los Angeles FC. Also, TFC fans will remember when the Union won the Supporters’ Shield in 2020, so revenge against Philadelphia could be on the players’ minds.

There is still a lot to look forward to if you are a TFC fan, however as of right now, for the second-straight year, they are on the outside looking in.

Photo Credit: Toronto FC’s Twitter Account on September 30, 2022.