NYCFC takes care of Inter Miami
By JJ Pavlick 10/17/22
NYCFC takes on Inter Miami winner faces Montreal, in Montreal and the loser goes home. NYCFC will be without Alfredo Morales – Lower Body and have the following players listed as game-time decisions Tayvon Gray - Lower Body and Talles Magno - Upper Body. For Inter Miami nobody is out, and nobody is questionable heading into the match in full health. The crowd is starting to pile into Citifield for tonight’s matchup. The crowd is filling in with minutes to kick off, with a decent size crowd on hand. The weather so far is behaving, and the conditions are perfect for a great fall game in New York. The excitement is growing inside the Stadium as we get closer to kickoff. You can feel the electricity all the way up in the press box. That was the oddest version of the Anthem ever performed at a major sporting event for sure. The guy couldn’t get off the pitch fast enough, really awkward. Miami starts the match with the kickoff, Miami is maintaining pressure on the NYCFC midfield and back line. City can’t seem to find any relief to slow things down and settle into the match. Miami with the first shot of the game just wide of the near post in the 4th minute of play. Sean Johnson tries to catch Miami sleeping but they quickly handle the goal kick and fire another rocket sending Johnson leaping to save it. Miami has the first corner kick of the match, taken by Mota, NYCFC clears it to midfield and Miami comes right back. Tinnerholm of NYCFC draws the foul on Miami. Miami smells blood in the water and is all over the NYCFC side, New York is struggling to move up the field and out of their zone 9 minutes into the match. NYCFC finally catches a break and draws a corner kick, taken by Rodriguez and headed on goal by Martins who hits the crossbar, and the ball goes out for a goal kick. Now New York is turning the pressure up on Miami’s back line and getting their 2nd shot on frame in the 10th minute of play. The save was made by Callender who quickly punts it to the midfield. Callens saves a 1 v 1 on his keeper and slide tackles the ball out for a throw-in, in the 13th minute of the match. The fans are trying to will the home side on. New York keeper Johnson is playing catch with his center back just passing the ball back and forth to settle things down and slow the Miami rush. NYCFC earns a free kick from 35 yards out, the kick is taken by Martins, and the shot is made by Rodriguez, easily saved by Callender in the 18th minute of play. New York survived the initial wave by Miami to start the match, now both sides are trading shots on goal and rushes. In the 20th minute, we remain tied 0-0. Rodriguez had an amazing chance at goal but he had a bad first touch and ruined his breakaway chance on goal from 7 yards out, Miami makes NY pay, with Higuain breaking in on goal. Hold up the assistant referee and VAR confirms he was offside no goal. So, we go back to 0-0 in the 23rd minute, New York caught a break on that one for sure. Miami comes right back but misplays the final ball in on goal and New York counters drawing a foul just passed midfield in the 26th minute. New York had a golden chance at goal, but could only find both posts and the crossbar, talk about unlucky. We remain tied 0-0 in the 28th minute of play. New York earns a corner in the 31st minute, the fans are on their feet and loud, and the corner is taken by Rodriguez but headed out off of Chanot’s header. New York earns another corner in the 37th minute, the corner is taken by Santos, he plays it short and crosses to Martins, who sends a volley toward the goal, saved easily by Callender. The rain starts to fall in the 40th minute of play here at Citifield. NYC gives up a corner in the 42nd minute, the kick is taken by Mota, but cleared easily by NYC. Sean Johnson with a big save for NYC in the 44th minute, and Higuain with another shot but it sails high and wide. In the 45th minute we remain tied 0-0, the center blows the whistle ending the half with no extra time. The 1st half was action-packed and both teams had several chances on goal that were spoiled by the keepers. The rain is starting to pick up during the intermission, weather report shows just bands of heavy rain with no lightning detected. Hopefully, it remains that way and we will be underway soon. The 2nd half is underway, and the rain is coming down at a steady pace. NYC comes out strong, pressing the Miami backline, Miami clears it and settles things down. Goal NYC by Santos off a pass from S Rodriguez in the 63rd minute. Goal by Moralez for NYC, assisted by S Rodriguez. NYC goes up 2-0 in the 69th minute. Herber with the takeaway in the Miami box, Goal! NYC goes up 3-0 in the 91st minute of play. NYC came out in the 2nd half and completely dominated Miami into submission. It wasn’t the way Higuain picture his career-ending. He had a great career here in MLS and was a great ambassador for the game. Higuain addressed the media after the game in an emotional press conference. He spoke of taking the time to spend with his family and watching his children grow up. He thanked everyone in the league, the media, his teammates, and most of all his family for supporting his dreams. Higuain played well in his final game, he nearly gave his team a 1-0 lead in the 1st half but he was unfortunately just offside and the goal was taken away. He played a strong game pressuring the backline of NYC often and tested Johnson a few times. NYC will head to Montreal, the match will be on Sunday, October 23rd at Stade Saputo, and the match will kick off at 1:08 p.m. EST.