Inter Miami got a much-needed attacking outburst and an even more critical result in a 3-0 win over Toronto FC on Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Federico Higuain and Christian Makoun scored, and the Herons (10-15-5, 35 points) also benefited from an own goal from Toronto defender Eriq Zavaleta. The three goals matched Miami’s season high, with Higauin’s marker ending the team’s lengthy scoring drought at 396 minutes.
That lack of scoring contributed to a six-game losing streak for Inter Miami. The Wednesday victory ended that slide and kept Miami’s longshot playoff bid alive, though the Herons may still need maximum points from their remaining four games.
Inter won all three meetings against Toronto FC (6-17-7, 25 points) this season, as Toronto’s suspect defense was the ideal cure for Miami’s slump. Toronto has allowed 59 goals, tied with FC Cincinnati for the most in MLS.
In the 10th minute, Toronto goalkeeper Alex Bono provided accidental help on Miami’s breakthrough goal. Bono’s slow clearance pass along the ground was easily intercepted by Higuain in the box, and the veteran forward converted his second goal of the season.
The Higuain brothers were playing together as Miami’s starting forwards, and younger brother Gonzalo collected an assist on Makoun’s marker in the 45th minute. Higuain’s curling corner kick found Makoun in some open space, and the defender made a canny move to collect the ball and convert the score.
It was Makoun’s second goal of the season, both against Toronto FC. Makoun’s penalty kick in second-half stoppage time decided Miami’s 1-0 win over Toronto on Sept. 14.
The Herons’ third goal also came off a corner in the 61st minute. The ball deflected off Zavaleta into his own net while he was trying to defend Lewis Morgan.
Miami goalkeeper Nick Marsman made four saves to record his fifth shutout of the season.
Toronto designated player Yeferson Soteldo left the game in the 39th minute due to an apparent leg injury.