Friday, September 30, 2022

Higuain scored a late winner to spoil Toronto FC's final home game of the season. CBC Sports

Gonzalo Higuain scored on time as his 86th-minute goal spoiled Toronto FC’s final home game of the season in a 1–0 win over Inter Miami CF.

Higuain’s goal was the culmination of a very strong second half by Miami (13–13–6), who desperately needed a win via a tiebreaker to enter the game for a final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Miami controlled the ball throughout the game, finishing with 59 percent possession. However, Toronto (9-17-7) was able to hang with the visitors, especially in the first half.

TFC had quality scoring chances in the opening 45 minutes, most of which came from Federico Bernardeschi’s feet. The Italian star was the architect of many strong challenges from Toronto’s side, but Miami’s defense matched his best efforts as well.

Miami came out for the second half with a new energy, turning their game-long possession advantage into serious threats against Toronto goalkeeper Quentin Vestberg, who made two saves in the opening half.

Despite the loss, his strong game was an encouraging sign for the Reds. TFC were allowed four goals in each of their last three matches entering Friday night.

look | Inter Miami CF beat Toronto FC

Miami scores late, ahead of Toronto FC

Gonzalo Higuain broke the scoreless tie in the 86th minute to give Miami a 1-0 win in Toronto.

Vestberg’s best effort came in the 73rd minute when Miami forward Ariel Lassiter came through the defense on a breakaway, only to stop a cold. Toronto defender Richie Laria was able to clear the follow-up effort.

Despite earning several quality scoring chances throughout the game, both sides had trouble converting them into goals.

After a tentative 10-minute opening, both sides opened up as the game began to run more smoothly. Michael Bradley’s steal set up the game’s first great scoring opportunity, but a determined defensive effort from Miami kept Toronto from running out with a quality shot.

From there the action continued, as both sides began trading opportunities during the first half.

Both ‘keepers had their moments to shine in the opening 45 minutes, as Miami’s Drake Callender made several strong saves, including one on Bernardeschi in the 36th minute. The Toronto forward took a strong shot that took off the Miami defender and looked set for what was to be the first goal of the match, but Callender made a diving save to keep the game scoreless.

TFC were able to threaten Callender with more chances after Higuain’s goal, but none of them succeeded in a game-tying goal.

The defeat marks the end of Toronto’s 2022 home schedule, as the team will miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season. TFC will play the Philadelphia Union on October 9 in their final outing of the regular season.

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