Gonzalo Higuain scores late winner in 1-0 Inter Miami triumph

By Sports Desk September 30, 2022

Inter Miami are now occupying the seventh and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference after their 1-0 victory against Toronto FC on Friday.

In front of their home fans, it was almost Toronto who took the lead in the 38th minute when Federico Bernadeschi's shot from outside the box took a heavy deflection, but Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender was able to adjust and make the save.

Toronto created more chances in the first half, but only had 38 per cent of the possession, and Miami's control of the ball began to pay dividends after the break.

Miami held Toronto without a shot on target in the second 45, and with time running down, they were able to find the decisive breakthrough.

A move from the right wing found its way to Robert Taylor on the edge of the box, and his slick little flick found its way through a maze of legs and into the path of Higuain, who made no mistake from right on the penalty spot.

The win means Miami will spend the night in the playoff positions, although the eighth-placed Columbus Crew have a superior goal difference and a game in-hand.

Related items

  • On this day 2021: Manager Phil Neville ends England tenure to coach Inter Miami On this day 2021: Manager Phil Neville ends England tenure to coach Inter Miami

    Phil Neville was appointed as the new head coach at Major League Soccer outfit Inter Miami after ending his tenure as England Women boss, on this day in 2021.

    Inter Miami confirmed the news just a few hours after the Football Association announced the then 43-year-old was stepping down from his role with the Lionesses with immediate effect.

    The club are co-owned by Neville’s former Manchester United and England team-mate David Beckham, who is also his fellow co-owner of League Two side Salford.

    Neville said in a statement on Inter Miami’s website: “I am incredibly delighted for this opportunity to coach Inter Miami and to work with (the club’s new chief soccer officer and sporting director) Chris (Henderson) and the entire ownership group.

    “This is a very young club with a lot of promise and upside and I am committed to challenging myself, my players and everyone around me to grow and build a competitive soccer culture we can all be proud of.

    “This fantastic soccer-loving market deserves consistent performances and a winning mentality and I look forward to getting to work.”

    Neville guided England to the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup and was previously set to end his role in charge when his contract finished in July 2021. But he cut his time short and stepped down that January due to the 2021 European Championship being pushed back to 2022 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    England appointed Sarina Wiegman as Neville’s successor and they went on to win Euro 2022 before she guided the Lionesses to the 2023 World Cup final.

    Beckham said: “I have known Phil since we were both teenagers at the Manchester United academy. We share a footballing DNA, having been trained by some of the best leaders in the game and it’s those values that I have always wanted running through our club.

    “Phil has deep experience in football, as a player and as a coach at both club and international level and over his career he has worked with many of the finest managers and players in the game.

    “I know his qualities as a person, his decency, loyalty and honesty – and his incredible energy and work ethic.

    “Anyone who has played or worked with Phil knows he is a natural leader and I believe now is the right time for him to join.”

    Neville led Miami to the 2022 MLS Cup play-offs but was sacked in June 2023 with the club bottom of the eastern conference following a run of 10 defeats in 15 games.

    The 46-year-old returned to management in the MLS in November 2023 and is currently in charge of the Portland Timbers.

  • A dream come true: St Lucia and Cavalier's shot-stopper Barclett eagerly awaits Concacaf Champions Cup kick off A dream come true: St Lucia and Cavalier's shot-stopper Barclett eagerly awaits Concacaf Champions Cup kick off

    It is always exciting when a club makes its debut on a stage which they long dreamed of. Such is the case of Jamaica Premier League outfit Cavalier, who is among the first-timers set to grace this year’s edition of the Concacaf Champions Cup, after they finished as runner-up in last year’s Concacaf Caribbean Cup.

    Anchoring what is the youngest team in Jamaica’s top-flight league is goalkeeper Vino Barclett, who started all eight matches for Cavalier during the tournament, and made 28 saves, which assisted the Rudolph Speid-coached team to the Caribbean Cup showpiece.

    Though they lost 0-3 on aggregate to Suriname’s Robinhood, their main objective was met, as their vision of playing against some of the best clubs in the Concacaf region, has come to fruition.

    “It was a big achievement for a Jamaican club. We played in a knockout tournament domestically and got to the finals, we played in the domestic league and got to the finals and so getting to the Caribbean Cup final and qualifying for Champions Cup was another big achievement for us,” Barclett said in a recent interview with Concacaf.com.

    “All of the players were deserving, we worked hard for it, the only thing we lacked was winning silverware,” he added.

    While most of his Cavalier teammates are from Jamaica, Barclett is one of the team’s full-time international players, as he represents St Lucia on an even bigger stage. Giving his vast experience representing St Lucia in Concacaf Nations League, Barclett is not one to shy away from tough competition and, as such, is now eager to parade his skill in Concacaf’s premier club competition.

    “Representing St Lucia on this stage is like a dream come true. I’m still a relatively young player, just 24 years old, I think I’m the only goalkeeper from St Lucia to have played in this tournament. It is a big achievement for me, and I want to show our amateur players back home that they can be on this big stage. I’m excited for the exposure and opportunity,” Barclett shared.

    Cavalier’s Round One encounter will be against Major League Soccer (MLS) outfit FC Cincinnati, scheduled for February 22, and Barclett knows a sturdy challenge awaits as their opponents capped the 2023 MLS regular season with the best record.

    “The preparation has been going up to standard, we have been putting in the work. In our domestic league in the last six games, we are unbeaten with five wins and one draw, so I think the team has prepared with full conviction. We know it won’t be easy game. We have to be focused in every second of the game, we cannot switch off. Our team has a good chemistry and in preparation for that game we are working very hard,” the agile goaltender said.

    With Cavalier boasting so many young players, the 2024 Champions Cup represents the perfect platform on which a group of hungry players can demonstrate their skills to the world. It is also a chance to show everyone the strength of Jamaica’s domestic football.

    “I would say this is the biggest moment of my career. I have been in finals, but this will be the biggest game of my career. This is a game that can be an opportunity for many of us. Maybe scouts see us and who knows where that might lead. Representing the Caribbean is a responsibility that we embrace, knowing that we are representing the Jamaican nation, so we will be relying on our fans in the home game,” Barclett ended.

  • Kemahl 'Hitman' Russell gears up for thrilling comeback bout against Rafael Ortiz; aiming for spectacular KO Kemahl 'Hitman' Russell gears up for thrilling comeback bout against Rafael Ortiz; aiming for spectacular KO

    On December 2, fans of boxing will witness the return of former Wray and Nephew Contender Champion and Junior North American Boxing Federation (NABF) Middleweight Champion, Kemahl 'Hitman' Russell (15-1, 11KO’s), as he steps into the ring against the formidable Mexican Middleweight Champion, Rafael 'El Iraki' Ortiz (16-5-1, 9KO’s).

    The highly anticipated eight-round showdown will unfold at the Pickering Casino Resort Arena in the Greater Toronto area, marking Russell's third fight since his remarkable comeback after a five-year hiatus.

    Following an intense eight-week training camp, Russell exudes confidence as he gears up for the challenge presented by Ortiz. Acknowledging his opponent's prowess, Russell anticipates a dominant performance, stating, “My performance will remain the same as my last fight. I feel sharp and strong, all that rust from my absence is finally gone. I’m ready for war on Saturday.”

    Expressing optimism about the upcoming bout, Russell added, “Camp has been solid, there are a few hiccups here and there, but I make the most of my situation as I always do. I will be entertaining and electrifying. I expect to get this guy outta there by the third round.”

    Promoter Tyler Buxton holds Russell in high regard, stating, “I expect Kemahl to showcase all of his skills and abilities in this fight. Ortiz is Kemahl’s toughest opponent since his return. Ortiz upset Omar Chavez last year and isn’t scared of a tough test.”

    The upcoming fight marks Russell's third under the United Boxing Promotions banner this year. His victories in April against Marcos Cornejo and September against Juan Raygosa, both by TKO, showcased his return to top form.

    The decision to base his training camps in Toronto aligns with his new promotional stable, emphasizing top-notch facilities and strong connections within the Jamaican community.

    Russell’s chief cornerman, Ryan “RG” Grant, expressed satisfaction with the Hitman’s progress, stating, "Simple, Kemahl has been out here, camp just keeps getting better and better. We are both excited about this fight coming and looking forward to making some big moves in the new year after we take care of business Saturday night.”

    Promoter Tyler Buxton explained the strategic decision behind hosting Russell’s training camps in Toronto, emphasizing its role in Russell’s continued success and marketability. Buxton added, “Kemahl’s quickly becoming a fan favorite here in Ontario. We have a large Jamaican following for our roster with the likes of Ricard “Big12” Brown, Shakeel Phinn, and Joshua Frazer. Kemahl is great with the fans after the events, taking photos and saying hi. He could be a main event very soon.”

    As the final week of preparation unfolds, Russell remains focused on fine-tuning his skills and refining his strategy. Addressing adjustments to training in a new location and with new personnel, Russell cryptically stated, “I’m more comfortable being uncomfortable. My adjustment has been good, and I feel like I’m in the right place at the right time, with the right people.”

     Russell's upcoming bout against Ortiz, officially promoted by United Promotions, promises to be a thrilling clash, with the added excitement of fellow Jamaican heavyweight Ricardo ‘Big 12’ Brown (9-0, 9 KO’s) taking on Josef ‘The Gladiator’ Darmos (14-6-3, 10KO’s) in a bid for title contention and a perfect knockout streak. Boxing enthusiasts can anticipate a night of high-caliber action at the Pickering Casino Resort Arena.

     

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.