MLS: Inter Miami face Montreal, look to start climb in East standings
As they battle to stay in the playoff picture, Inter Miami could line up shorthanded, missing two key players when they visit CF Montreal on Saturday night.
Inter Miami (8-10-5, 29 points) are coming off a gutsy 1-0 victory over San Jose — only their second road victory of the season — to stay even with Charlotte for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Charlotte holds the wins tiebreaker, however, with nine victories.
But Miami will find itself underdogs not only because Montreal (12-8-3, 39 points) heads into the matchup sitting at third in the conference, but because it could be without top scorers Leo Campana and Gonzalo Higuain. Both players suffered injuries in Wednesday night’s game as Campana exited 22 minutes into the match with a thigh injury and Higuain left in the 72nd minute after taking an elbow to the jaw. Both are questionable to play on Saturday.
“We’ve invested in the squad and we’ve got plenty of players that can come in, that are ready to play, that want to play, that now have the opportunity to play,” said Inter Miami coach Phil Neville, whose squad in the midst of a 7,600-mile road trip in a span of five days.
Kei Kamara ignited Montreal’s 2-1 comeback win over Columbus on Wednesday night. Kamara scored his 134th career goal in the 88th minute, placing him in a tie for third on the all-time list with Jeff Cunningham. Kamara’s goal was followed six minutes later with a stoppage-time winner from Joel Waterman.
“They trained for this, they worked hard, and we wanted this win because this is the way we are as a team and it worked today and it’s good. But I will repeat myself, but I am really proud of what they did today because of all the circumstances we had today,” Montreal coach Wilfried Nancy said after the game.
Romell Quioto leads Montreal in scoring with nine goals to go with three assists.
This is the first of two meetings between the clubs, who also will play on Oct. 9 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to close out the regular season for both teams.
–Field Level Media