Inter Miami grind out 1-0 triumph over DC United thanks to Leo Campana's late stunner

  • Leo Campana secured the three points for Inter Miami in stoppage-time
  • The Ecuador international has managed three goals and one asisst in five starts
  • Miami's back-up striker remains one of the more underrated forwards in MLS
Inter Miami found a late winner vs DC United
Inter Miami found a late winner vs DC United / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Inter Miami returned to winning ways Saturday night with a narrow 1-0 victory over DC United in Major League Soccer play.

It might not have been how Miami Gerardo 'Tata' Martino drew it up, but it's another three points on the board for the south Florida side. The win over DC sees the Herons keep their place atop the Supporters' Shield standings with 31 points accumulated from 15 matches played.

The Herons welcomed the return of superstar Lionel Messi back into the swing of things after the 36-year-old sat out their 0-0 draw against Orlando City in the middle of the week. However, Messi was a little bit off the pace -- like his best mate Luis Suarez -- as the Herons struggled to create genuine chances for most of the match.

DC managed to amass 1.06 xG and 15 shots to Miami's .77 and eight shots -- but none of that mattered as the clock ticked at Chase Stadium. It wasn't Suarez, Messi or new signing Matias Rojas that saved the day -- it was Leo Campana.

The Ecuadorian was brought on for the latter stages of the contest and made an instant impact by latching on to Sergio Busquets' lofted through ball. The shirtless celebration may have been a little over-the-top, but Campana won't care as he notched his fourth goal contribution in just 441 minutes of action to seal the win for Miami.

Leo Campana reminds everyone of his quality

Leo Campana scored a stoppage-time winner
Leo Campana scored a stoppage-time winner / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Campana just about started to find his groove near the end of last season for Miami. The former Wolverhampton Wanderers striker bagged 11 goals across all appearances for Miami and showed genuine signs of promise as Josef Martinez would soon leave the club -- meaning he could have a chance to really make the center-forward position his own.

That all changed when rumors started heating up about a potential reunion between one of the greatest football duos of all-time in Suarez and Messi. Despite Suarez being very much on the back-end of his career, he still has proven to be a top-class striker with 11 goals for Miami in 2024.

Suarez's ruthless efficiency coupled with his chemistry with Messi meant that Campana's minutes have been reduced. Not only has he played under 500 minutes, but Campana has also managed just five starts. However, he's made the most of his limited minutes with three goals and one assist to show his quality.

Perhaps one day Martino will opt for a formation that allows both Campana and Suarez to take the pitch at the same time.

But Martino rarely strays from his 4-3-3 setup, and while Suarez will be relied on for most of the campaign, Campana reminded everyone of the quality he possesses and he could end up earning more minutes when Copa America kicks-off this summer when Suarez departs to suit up for Uruguay.