Gonzalo Higuain has turned into a late match hero for Inter Miami over the past few weeks. He kept that up this past weekend as he scored in the 86th minute to give Miami a 1-0 win over Toronto.
Higuain received the ball at the edge of the box from Robert Taylor. He then skirted around a defender and expertly put the ball in the back of the net to give Miami the massive three points in their playoff push.
Higuain is in incredible form at the moment. He has scored in four straight matches (five goals in that span), and has scored in five of his last six matches. This has helped lead to three straight wins for Miami.
He's not just in great form, he's putting in clutch performances as well as Miami makes a run towards the MLS Cup Playoffs. Not just did he score the late match-winner on Friday, but he's scored late match-winners in Miami's two previous wins as well, in Miami's previous match he scored a late winner against DC United. The goal came in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time to give Miami a 3-2 win.
With the score tied 2-2, Miami had a big push forward. DeAndre Yedlin got on the end of the ball on the right flank. He played a great cross in to Higuain who was in the perfect spot to put the ball home to give Miami the win.
The match before that against Columbus, Higuain once again scored the match winner as he scored in the 82nd minute to give Miami a 2-1 win (in what was a huge matchup between two teams in the playoff race). Higuain not only scored the match-winner, but he scored both of Miami's goals in the match as well.
For the match-winner, Alejandro Pozuelo played a beautiful throughball in to Higuain who put a nice finish in from a very difficult angle. It was not an easy shot by Higuain as he was just a couple feet off the end line, but was able to find the right angle to beat the keeper.
These last three wins have pushed Miami above the playoff line (for now) in the Eastern Conference, and the Herons now control their own destiny for the playoffs with two matches remaining. Miami is currently tied on points (45) with Orlando City and Columbus for sixth in the East (seven make the playoffs). The good news however is that Miami is locked in on owning the tiebreaker with Columbus if they should end up even on points, which puts Miami in the seven spot in the table for the moment (because Orlando currently holds the tiebreaker over Miami, although that tiebreaker is not yet clinched like the Miami/Columbus one).
While Higuain's tenure in Miami has not exactly been smooth sailing, he is playing some of his best soccer at the perfect time. Miami needed someone to step up with the club making a push to the playoffs, and he has stepped up. This recent push of three straight wins (with all three coming off late match-winners from Higuain) has put Miami in a good position in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
With these two matches remaining and a tight race in the East, Miami will need Higuain to keep up the form he has had recently for the squad to make the playoffs. And if Miami makes it, with the way the club (and Higuain especially) has been playing, who knows what will happen from there.
This will be the last late season push of Higuain's career as he recently announced that he would be retiring at the end of the season. It could be a fairy tale type ending to a legendary career if Higuain keeps playing the way he is recently, and Inter Miami potentially making a run in the playoffs.