Inter Miami CF kept their faint Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoff hopes just about alive with an emphatic 5-1 victory over FC Cincinnati at DRV PNK Stadium on Saturday night.

The Higuain brothers, Federico and Gonzalo, both found the net to twice give the hosts the lead either side of a Brandon Vazquez equalizer for Cincinnati. Indiana Vassilev, Lewis Morgan and Julian Carranza then all scored to make the scoreline a lopsided one.

The win for Miami, their biggest in their MLS history, takes them up to 10th place in the Eastern Conference standings, with 38 points from 31 matches. The five-point gap to the top seven remains a tall task to make up with three games remaining but, if nothing else, the result gives head coach Phil Neville some positive momentum heading to the end of a challenging season.

The Higuain brothers were at the center of the action from the beginning. In the sixth minute, Gonzalo Higuain fed Rodolfo Pizarro down the left and the Mexican international's cross was headed down and in by Federico Higuain. Seven minutes into the second half, with the score tied once more after Vazquez's well-taken equalizer, Gonzalo Higuain replicated Federico's finish off a cross sent in by his brother.

From then on, it was party time in Fort Lauderale as the goals rained down and Gonzalo Higuain finished with a hat trick of assists with further set ups for Morgan and Carranza. A Cincinnati team that look headed for their third consecutive Wooden Spoon ended the night with further ignominy as Allan Cruz was shown a stoppage-time red card for swiping out at Carranza.

Goals

  • 6' – MIA – Federico Higuain | WATCH
  • 21' – CIN – Brandon Vazquez | WATCH
  • 53' – MIA – Gonzalo Higuain | WATCH
  • 69' – MIA – Indian Vassilev | WATCH
  • 74' – MIA – Lewis Morgan | WATCH
  • 85' – MIA – Julian Carranza | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: The first four-goal win and first five-goal performance of Miami's MLS tenure comes at a welcome time. After six straight losses looked to have ended any realistic playoff hopes, back-to-back wins by an 8-1 aggregate margin have at least kept their season alive. For Cincinnati, the task awaiting new general manager Chris Albright continues to look like a massive one.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Brother to brother. Federico to Gonzalo. And the crucial go-ahead goal. Gonzalo's celebration was joyous, too.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Federico Higuain was excellent in the playmaking role, while Rodolfo Pizarro also caught the eye. But the winner has to be Gonzalo Higuain, who finished with a goal, three assists and was at the heart of almost everything Miami did well in an attacking sense.

Next Up

  • MIA: Wednesday, Oct. 27 at Atlanta United | 7:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)
  • CIN: Wednesday, Oct. 27 vs. Nashville SC | 7:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)