Inter Miami loses 3-1 at Chicago, however hangs onto playoff hopes with 5 video games to go


Inter Miami ahead Gonzalo Higuain retrieves the ball after scoring a penalty kick within the 77th minute in a 3-1 highway loss in opposition to the Chicago Fire on Sept. 10, 2022.

Inter Miami CF

Inter Miami’s quest for a playoff spot received harder with a 3-1 highway loss in opposition to the Chicago Fire on Saturday night time.

The males in pink dropped their third consecutive highway sport and stay in ninth place within the Eastern Conference, two spots and 5 factors wanting the playoff line with 5 video games to go. They reached as excessive as fifth place after a very good late summer time run, however the latest slide leaves them determined for wins and sure reliant on assist from different groups.

The 13th-place Fire was a group Miami was favored to beat, however Miami gamers regarded out of sync a lot of the primary half and had bother connecting passes. The lone Inter Miami aim got here on a 77th minute penalty kick by Gonzalo Higuain. The Argentine ahead leads the group with 10 objectives this season.

“I’m disappointed in the performance, the first half was unacceptable,” stated Miami coach Phil Neville. “There was a real lack of quality. We looked nervous for the first time. It’s a big challenge for us now to release those shackles because we’re getting to that point where we can’t afford any more losses.”

Miami returns dwelling for a crucial sport Tuesday in opposition to the Columbus Crew, which sits within the seventh and closing playoff spot with 41 factors. Inter Miami performed the Crew on the highway two weeks in the past and misplaced 1-0.

“We have to win on Tuesday,” Neville stated. “We have to win home games to have any chance of getting into the playoffs. Because we are playing Columbus twice in such a short space of time, we can’t allow them to take six points off us, so we had to come out with an equal three points each, and that’s not changed.”

Philadelphia (63 factors) and Montreal (53) have clinched playoff berths. New York Red Bulls (50) and New York City FC (46) are snug in third and fourth place. Orlando City and Cincinnati are in fifth and sixth place with 42 factors. New England (38) and Inter Miami (36) are battling to leapfrog Columbus.

“These players so desperately want to do well, they know what they have to do, and sometimes that weighs heavy on you,” Neville stated. “We’ve hit a bad run at the wrong time. That’s not good at this point in the season. We’ve got to remain balanced, think about the next five games, there’s loads of points to play for. We know it’s probably going to go down to the last three or four games.”

Miami hoped to finish its highway shedding skid at Chicago, however the Fire took command of the sport early.

The Fire, which went scoreless by means of the earlier 4 video games, ended its 440-minute drought within the 40th minute with a header by unmarked 18-year-old Colombian ahead Jhon Duran. The ball deflected off Miami defender Kieran Gibbs and into the trail of Duran, who despatched it excessive to the higher proper nook.

Chicago dominated a lot of the primary half. Chicago had 69 p.c possession by means of the primary half-hour and completed the half with seven photographs to 4 for Miami.

The Fire scored once more within the 64th minute on a aim by Xherdan Shaqiri.

Higuain reduce the deficit in half together with his penalty kick and gave Miami life. Second-half subs Bryce Duke, Joevin Jones and Ari Lassiter injected the group with vitality, however Miami misplaced the ball on the best sideline, the Fire counter attacked and Duran put the sport away within the 87th minute.

Inter Miami’s protection was lacking heart again Damion Lowe, who injured his left knee in apply late within the week and didn’t journey. He is predicted to overlook Tuesday’s sport as effectively, Neville stated. The lack of Lowe is important, because the Jamaican nationwide group captain has been an anchor in again all season and emerged as a frontrunner on and off the sector.

Winger Coco Jean missed the sport with an injured proper knee. The Frenchman has been hampered by accidents since becoming a member of the group in July.

One query heading into Saturday’s sport was who would begin in aim for Inter Miami. Nick Marsman was the starter in the beginning of the season, injured his again, and was changed by Drake Callender, who performed exceptionally effectively in Marsman’s absence. Callender saved the No. 1 spot even after Marsman recovered, however Neville went with Marsman on Saturday for the second sport in a row.

The coach stated he can be in search of “freshness” when selecting his lineup for Tuesday’s sport in opposition to Columbus. He stated Duke, Jones and Lassiter can be in his plans in addition to midfielder Victor Ulloa and winger Emerson, who didn’t play Saturday.

“We’ve got to pick the right team Tuesday,” Neville stated. “(Saturday) was not good enough, but Tuesday will be.”

Miami Herald sportswriter Michelle Kaufman has lined 14 Olympics, six World Cups, Wimbledon, U.S. Open, NCAA Basketball Tournaments, NBA Playoffs, Super Bowls and has been the soccer author and University of Miami basketball beat author for 25 years. She was born in Frederick, Md., and grew up in Miami.

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