Major League Soccer

Phil Neville praises Inter Miami players after 'painful' victory over Toronto FC

Lizzy Becherano
Phil Neville admits to a painful match against Toronto but recognizes players' perseverance
Phil Neville admits to a painful match against Toronto but recognizes players' perseverance / Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Inter Miami head coach Phil Neville has admitted the 1-0 victory over Toronto FC was 'painful' to watch, but commended his players for the perseverance that earned the south Florida side their fourth consecutive clean sheet. 

Center-back Christian Makoun scored the dramatic stoppage-time winner from the penalty spot after 90 minutes of passive play from both sides. 

Speaking after the match, Neville said: “It felt like a painful game because we didn’t play well at all… but ultimately the pride in which they keep going until the end, they keep fighting and keep battling, they find a way to win.

"I think there are not many teams in the whole of Major League Soccer that scored as many goals late as what we have, so we keep our feet firmly on the ground." 

Despite their underwhelming performance, Inter Miami managed to stretch their unbeaten streak to six and immensely improve their position on the Eastern Conference table. 

The south Florida side is now in fifth place with 32 points in 23 games and a record of 9-4-9, and moved into a playoff position after spending the majority of the 2021 season sitting in the bottom half of MLS standings.

The team had a rocky couple weeks that saw a six-match losing streak before they could recuperate and climb the table. Now, Inter Miami must maintain their momentum for the remaining 11 matches of the regular season to lock in their spot for the postseason. 

The 2021 Major League Soccer playoffs are set to kick off on 19 November as the top seven clubs from each conference face off in the month-long tournament.