Inter Miami vs Toronto FC summary: score, goals, highlights | MLS
Inter Miami vs Toronto FC: As it happened
Inter Miami continued their late charge for a playoff place with a 4-0 victory over Toronto FC.
The first half was a fairly even affair with chances for both sides in the opening stages. The key spell of the opening 45 minutes came around 15 minutes from the break when Jordi Alba and Lionel Messi were both substituted within a matter of minutes.
That disruption could easily have rocked the hosts but they actually rallied in the absence of the two stars and found the breakthrough during added time at the end of the first half. The impressive Facundo Farias arrived late in the box to score an emphatic volley from close range
Toronto started well after halftime but were soon undone by some brilliant play from Miami. Robert Taylor fired home from the edge of the box ten minutes into the second half to put his side in the driving seat.
With 20 minutes to go young midfielder Benjamin Cremaschi applied a neat finishing touch on a well-worked Miami move. As the game was drawing to a close Taylor completed his brace after more good work from Farias.
It was an important victory for Inter Miami and one that proves that they are not entirely reliant on Messi for goals. They will, however, be eager to get the Argentine back in time for the trip to Orlando City this weekend.
Brilliant brace from Taylor secures the win for Miami
Inter Miami winger Robert Taylor came on to replace Lionel Messi in the first half and made an impact that his captain would have been proud of. The 28-year-old scored two brilliant goals to secure the victory for his team.
Peeep peeeep peeeeep
Full time at DRV PNK Stadium and Inter Miami have an impressive victory over the team at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. It was not a perfect night for the Herons but they got the job done and secured an important three points.
There will be three minutes of added time at DRV PNK Stadium.
GOOOOAAAAL! Inter Miami
It's a fourth for Inter Miami and a second of the night for Robert Taylor!
Facundo Farias does brilliantly to lift a pass over the Toronto backline; Taylor runs onto the ball and lashes it home from a tight angle.
So close for Insigne who lets fly from the edge of the box. His right-footed strike cannons back of the post and Inter Miami manage to get the ball clear.
We're into the final ten minutes of normal time now. Toronto are struggling to get a touch of the ball and Miami are starting to really enjoy themselves now.
Close! Inter Miami
Nearly a fourth as Taylor and Campana combine down the right. The Ecuadorian striker finds himself in on goal but there are enough Toronto defenders back to crowd him out.
Inter Miami are really enjoying themselves now, knocking the ball around in the middle of the pitch.
Busquets' quality has been vital in this second half showing. The former Barcelona midfielder has quietly kept things ticking over for Miami, allowing the young players around him to overpower Toronto.
GOOOOAAAL! Inter Miami
And there it is! Inter Miami have there third and it's a sumptuous goal from Benjamin Cremaschi. A neat team move from the hosts to find Taylor on the right wing, he plays the ball through to Cremaschi and the youngster makes no mistake!
We're into the final 20 minutes of normal time and Miami will look to put this game to bed and preserve their energy for the upcoming fixtures. The home crowd is in good voice now as the Herons push forward for a third goal.
Change for Toronto FC now as they look to get back into the game. Striker Kerr is replaced by Sapong.
Inter Miami look to have switch formation to a 4-3-3 after those changes. The introduction of Leonardo Campana will also change how the hosts play in the remaining half an hour.
The Ecuadorian is a player in form, with five goals in his last three appearances. He will be eager to add to his recent tally tonight.
And here's that triple change for Inter Miami...
Ruiz, Martinez and Farias are replaced by Cremaschi, Campana and Arroyo.
Insigne whips in a fierce corner for Toronto but Callender is there to punch the ball away.
Chance! Inter Miami
The Herons are well on top now and they get the ball into the box after some good play from Busquets. The ball looks to fall to Farias on the penalty spot, but the youngster rushes his effort and fails to make a connection.
That was a decent opportunity for the hosts.
It looks like Inter Miami are preparing a triple substitution now, Campana and Cremaschi are among those coming on.
The atmosphere in DRV PNK Stadium has completely changed after that Robert Taylor goal. The substitutions of Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba brought an unmistakable sense of worry to the stadium but the party atmosphere is back now!
Robert Taylor makes it two
Lionel Messi may have hobbled off in the first half, but his replacement has filled the Argentine's boots! The winger scored a brilliant goal from the edge of the box to double his side's lead.
GOOOOAAAL! Inter Miami
From somewhere, Inter Miami have a second goal!
It's Robert Taylor who skips through the challenges on the edge of the box, before striking home from 20 yards out. Brilliant strike, but terrible defending from Toronto.
Inter Miami need to get their foot on the ball and calm things down now. With Messi and Jordi Alba off the pitch, Busquets must take up the responsibility now.
Goal disallowed! Toronto
The goal is ruled out for offside, but it's a very promising start to the half for Toronto.
Insigne picked up the ball on the halfway line and slipped a pass through to the on-rushing Bernardeschi. The Italian worked the ball back onto his left foot and slotted coolly past Callender.
Inter Miami saved by the flag.
Toronto have the ball in the net, but Bernardeschi is flagged for offside.
VAR will look at it...
Toronto get us underway for the second half! What can Terry Dunfield's side muster in the remaining 45 minutes?
After a chaotic opening 45, we're nearly ready to get the second half underway at DRV PNK Stadium...
Inter Miami have the lead at the break, but it's not all been plain sailing for the hosts. Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba were both substituted in the first half against Toronto, here's what we know about their potential injuries so far...
Facundo Farias gives Inter Miami the lead!
Here's the goal that put Inter Miami ahead against Toronto, and what a strike it was!
Half time at DRV PNK Stadium
And that's the break after an engrossing first half of action in Miami.
The hosts have the lead, but have lost Messi and Jordi Alba.
GOOOOAAAAAL! Inter Miami
It hasn't been a great first half for Inter Miami, but Facundo Farias has fired his team ahead with a brilliantly-struck shot past Romero.
He makes a late run into the box and smashes a volley home.
There will be a minimum of nine minutes of added time at the end of the first half.
Back to the game, Toronto are enjoyed their best spell of possession so far.
The game has also been disrupted by a concussion test for Miami defender Kryvstov. Miami will want to get to the half time break and regroup.
We haven't had confirmation yet about the nature of the Lionel Messi injury, but we can see that he has taken his place alongside Jordi Alba on the Miami bench.
Jordi Alba has ice on his calf, while Messi is just sitting there. Both players look very frustrated to have been forced off in the first half.
That's a real shame with two injury-enforced substitutions for each team in the first half.
However you feel that the Miami duo, Messi and Jordi Alba, could have had the biggest impact on this game.
Confirmation of that substitution, Lionel Messi is replaced by Robert Taylor.
And another! Lionel Messi is going off with an injury here!
Jordi Alba isn't fit enough to continue, he is replaced by Allen.
Third injury-related substitute of the first half!
So close for the visitors! Good work down the right from Bernardeschi, who looks to square the ball for Kerr.
The Toronto striker has a free sight at goal but can't quite connect with his teammate's pass.
After being under pressure Toronto get the ball back and send Insigne flying forward on the break.
He looks to be in behind the defence until young Miami defender Aviles stops him in his tracks with a inch-perfect sliding tackle.
Good play from Alba down the left wing, who then pulls the ball back into the Toronto box. Messi and Martinez are sniffing around but some frantic defending from the visitors gets the ball clear.
Fagundo Ferias does well to turn past Coello on the right flank, winning a free kick in the process.
Messi curls the ball in from the right but Busquets had drifted into an offside position and Toronto regain possession.
Servania is coming off, just 15 minutes after he was substituted on. Ibarra comes on to replace him.
Extremely frustrating for Toronto head coach Terry Dunfield.
Injury worry for Toronto now as Servania, who came on as a substitution after just 10 minutes, is now down. He may not be able to continue here...
Chance! Inter Miami
David Ruiz has impressed so far and picks up the ball on the left. He looks to play in Messi on the far side of the box but his pass is slightly too long for the Argentine.
Messi's right-footed effort flies over the crossbar from close range.
Chance! Inter Miami
Brilliant play from Messi to fashion some room for himself inside the Toronto box. Surrounded by four players he twists and turns to make space for a shot, but Bradley manages to get back in time to block the Argentine's strike.
A strong run from Messi from the right allows him to cut inside onto his favoured left foot. He reaches the edge of the box and fires in a low strike but Romero gets down to save comfortably.
Inter Miami have looked to play in Martinez in behind the Toronto backline on a few occasions now.
It looks like Martinez has been favoured as Messi's pairing for exactly that reason, his ability to play off the defender's shoulder. If he can push the defence back, Messi should have more room to operate.
Messi takes a Miami corner short to Ferias, but his cross is gratefully captured by Toronto keeper Romero.
The visitors get the ball down and look to play out from the back.
Chance! Inter Miami
The hosts go up the other end and fashion a chance for Josef Martinez with a lofted ball over the top. The Venezuelan gets in on goal but his left-footed strike hits the side netting.
It's a thrilling start!
So close! Toronto
How did that not go in??
Toronto striker Kerr pinched the ball off Busquets on the edge of the box and drove forward. He looked to poke the ball past Callender but the Miami keeper parried his effort.
The rebound fell to Kerr again but his second effort struck the post.
A real let-off for Miami there!
There's an early change for Toronto as Vazquez is taken off. He will be replaced by Servania.
A decent opening for Insigne, who picks up a pull-back on the edge of the Miami box. He looks to open his body and curl his shot into the far corner but his effort goes well wide.
It's been a fairly even start so far, with Toronto managing to pose some questions for the hosts on the break. Insigne, in particular, has looked lively in the opening stages and has nearly caught the Miami backline out on more than one occasion.
Sergio Busquets appears to be playing as a lone holding midfielder for Inter Miami, with the more energetic Farias and Ruiz either side of him.
It offers Miami a lot of offensive options on the ball, but they will have to make sure that Busquets is not isolated on the transition.
Chance! Inter Miami
Toronto get caught on the ball at the back and Ferias steals the ball for his side. The loose ball lands at the feet of Martinez but the Miami forward cannot get his shot away cleanly.
A real opening for Inter Miami in the opening stages.
Toronto win a corner after a strong run from Bernardeschi.
The corner is swung in from the right but Miami defender Kryvstov is there to head the ball away.
As expected, it looks like Inter Miami are lining up in a 5-3-2 formation with Jordi Alba and DeAndre Yedlin as the wing-backs. They will look to get their team up the pitch and help provide service for Lionel Messi and Josef Martinez.
And we're off!
We're underway at DRV PNK Stadium...
Kick-off is near now. Both teams are out on the pitch at DRV PNK Stadium for what is, of course, a sell-out fixture for Inter Miami.
We'll be bringing you full live coverage of Inter Miami vs Toronto FC shortly...
Kickoff approaches in Miami
Toronto FC have endured a torrid season in the Eastern Conference this year. They are languishing at the bottom of the table but have a number of talented stars in their squad and can cause an upset tonight.
The likes of Federico Bernardeschi and Lorenzo Insigne have huge experience in the top European leagues and will be looking to pull off a surprise victory tonight. Can they upset Inter Miami on their own turf?
Can Inter Miami make the playoffs? At the moment, their prospects hang in the balance after a 5-2 loss against Atlanta United last weekend.Gerardo 'Tata' Martino's team are still down in 14th in the Eastern Conference but will look to get back to winning games against Toronto FC tonight.
Here's what they need to do to make it to the post-season...
Messi, Busquet and Jordi Alba all start for Miami
After a loss last weekend the big three are back for Inter Miami tonight. Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba have brought so much to the team since their mid-season arrival and their on-field chemistry have helped them to adapt to the league so swiftly.
There remain close friends off the pitch, too.
Inter Miami supporters will be delighted to see that Lionel Messi is back in the starting XI; Toronto players, less so.
Here's what Toronto midfielder Victor Vazquez had to say about the World Cup-winning Argentine...
And here's how Toronto FC line up...
Interim coach Terry Dunfield has named his starting XI for the trip to DRV PNK Stadium. The illustrious Italian pairing of Federico Bernardeschi and Lorenzo Insigne both start for the visitors.
Lionel Messi starts for Inter Miami!
The Inter Miami captain is back in the Inter Miami starting XI to take on Toronto FC this evening. Likewise, Jordi Alba also returns from a minor fitness issue.
Messi is partnered by Josef Martinez up front.
Toronto in the house!
They may be bottom of the Eastern Conference, but Toronto FC could pose a tough test for Inter Miami in this evening's MLS clash. Interim coach Terry Dunfield has had plenty of opportunity to study how Miami play with Lionel Messi in the team and will look to close the space available for the Argentine.
There's around an hour to go until kick-off at DRV PNK Stadium, team news expected shortly...
Speaking yesterday, Gerardo 'Tata' Martino insisted that he had not yet decided whether Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba would be fit to start against Toronto. The ex-Barcelona duo returned to training this week but have been forced to play a lot of football in a relatively short time since arriving in MLS.
“Messi and Alba will train in the full session today with the team, and after that we’ll see if they’re available to play and to what extent,” the Inter Miami head coach told reporters on Tuesday.
Preparations underway at DRV PNK Stadium
We have not yet had confirmed team news from Miami but there have been a few clues on the Inter Miami social media accounts in the last hour. Both Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba missed last weekend's game against Atlanta United, but they appear to be back in the squad for tonight's fixture.
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Miami are looking to bounce back from last weekend's defeat to Atlanta United and Should have Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba back in the squad for the game.
If Miami win they can keep their playoff hopes alive, but defeat would all-but end their chances of making it to the playoffs.