Inter Miami have recorded only a third win of the 2021 MLS season to relieve some of the pressure that was building on head coach Phil Neville, beating CF Montreal on home soil in Fort Lauderdale.
The 2-1 win snapped a seven-game winless streak for Miami that had started more than two months ago back in May. A surprise tie against 2020 Supporters’ Shield champions Philadelphia Union in their last game ended a troubling losing streak at six games.
But Miami went one better against Montreal, with Gonzalo Higuain scoring twice in the second half to cancel out a first half goal from Joaquin Torres.
“Every game feels like a playoff game at this club, it's like no other,” Neville reflected, via the club’s official website. “The games are only going to get bigger, so I said to the players at the end that they are the luckiest players to be playing at this club.
“That feeling at the end, they should bottle, because that’s who they’re playing for, [the supporters] are the life and soul of this fútbol club.”
Since winning against FC Cincinnati in the middle of May, Miami went on to lose against Chicago Fire, D.C. United (twice), Orlando City, Montreal and New England Revolution.
The latter result against New England saw Neville admit he was under pressure and was fully aware of the consequences of losing games, suggesting he knew being fired was a possibility.
“I feel [the owners’] full support, I always have done. They don't need to tell me about their concerns because I have the same concerns,” Neville said at the time.
“I've been in football long enough and I know the consequences - that's no problem to me. We're doing everything in our power, we just need better performances on the field.”
That is why Saturday night’s result against Montreal will come as such a relief and Neville hope it is now the start of a improved run of performances and results. Miami remain bottom of the Eastern Conference but are now tied with Chicago on points and have one game fewer.