MLS

MLS: Higuain fires for in-form Inter Miami, Buchanan maintains New England's lead

By Sports Desk September 11, 2021

Gonzalo Higuain scored the winner as resurgent Inter Miami continued their excellent run of form with a fifth straight home win beating Columbus Crew 1-0 in the MLS on Saturday.

Higuain struck the winner in the 16th minute for Inter who have claimed 13 points from their past five matches to surge up to ninth in the Eastern Conference.

Inter had endured a six-game losing span in May and June but Phil Neville's side have bounced back, losing only once in their past 10.

The former Real Madrid forward swooped on a wayward back pass from Josh Williams, taking a touch inside the box and dinking a shot over Crew keeper Eloy Room, with Vito Wormgoor unable to clear it on the line.

New England maintained their stronghold on the lead at the top of the table with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over 10-man New York City.

Santiago Rodriguez had put City ahead with an 11th-minute volley before Revolution midfielder Emmanuel Boateng drive in a low leveller 10 minutes later. Tom McNamara may have put New England ahead when he hit the post late in the half.

Alfredo Morales was sent off for a second bookable offence, an heavy tackle on McNamara, early in the second half.

New England capitalized with in-form Tajon Buchanan coming up with a 65th minute winner from Carles Gil's assist.

Nashville maintained their strong season with a 1-0 victory on the road over Montreal after Walker Zimmerman's glancing 66th-minute header, keeping them second in the Eastern Conference behind New England.

Sporting KC struck twice inside the first 10 minutes from Jose Mauri and Johnny Russell as they won 2-0 over Chicago Fire to stay in touch with Western Conference leaders Seattle Sounders.

Colorado Rapids squandered an opportunity to temporarily go top in the west after Samuel Grandsir's late equalizer for LA Galaxy in a 1-1 draw. The Rapids instead slip to third below KC.

Seattle Sounders remained first in the west with a 1-0 home win over Minnesota United thanks to Joao Paulo's 22nd-minute strike.

Teenage sensation Ricardo Pepi scored his 12th goal of the season as Dallas drew 1-1 with San Jose Earthquakes, while lowly Houston Dynamo won 3-0 over fellow Texas outfit Austin.

New York Red Bulls continue to struggle for wins, only managing a 1-1 home draw with DC United after a controversial penalty award for a Sean Nealis handball.

Cincinnati snapped their three-game losing run with a 2-0 home win over struggling Toronto, who have lost five in a row.

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    Portland Timbers extended their unbeaten streak to five games in MLS after topping Los Angeles FC 2-1 on Sunday.

    The resurgent Timbers continued their run thanks to goals from Dairon Asprilla and George Fochive at Providence Park.

    Asprilla opened the scoring at home to LAFC – the Timbers forward headed home in the 21st minute, though the visitors responded six minutes later via Cristian Arango's penalty.

    But the Timbers emerged triumphant courtesy of Fochive's game-winning header 22 minutes from the end in Portland.

    The Timbers are fifth in the Western Conference – nine points behind leaders Sporting Kansas City, while LAFC are eighth and a point outside the play-off spots.

    Elsewhere, Philadelphia Union returned to winning ways by defeating Orlando City 3-1 to surge back into the play-off positions.

    The Union were three games without a win in MLS heading into the contest, however, Kacper Przybylko's brace ensured Philadelphia – eliminated in the CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals – snapped their skid.

    After Philadelphia's Kai Wagner and Orlando's Ruan traded goals, Przybylko lifted the Union with a second-half brace.

    Orlando ended the match with 10 men after Antonio Carlos was sent off in the 88th minute.

    Montreal – fifth in the Eastern Conference – accounted for Chicago Fire 2-0 and Vancouver Whitecaps drew 1-1 at Colorado Rapids.

    Meanwhile, Dallas and head coach Luchi Gonzalez parted ways amid their four-match winless streak which has left the team 11th in the west and seven points off the pace.

  • Haaland's a 'goalscoring machine' – Hummels showers Dortmund star in praise Haaland's a 'goalscoring machine' – Hummels showers Dortmund star in praise

    Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels heaped praise on "goalscoring machine" Erling Haaland, who inspired a 4-2 Bundesliga win over Union Berlin.

    Haaland maintained his red-hot form with a brace as Dortmund defeated visiting Union Berlin on Sunday – the 21-year-old becoming the youngest player in history to reach 47 Bundesliga goals in just his 48th appearance.

    After Dortmund full-back Raphael Guerreiro opened the scoring in stunning fashion, Haaland doubled Dortmund's lead in the 24th minute via a header.

    A Marvin Friedrich own goal seven minutes into the second half virtually put the result beyond doubt, though Max Kruse's penalty gave Union Berlin some hope.

    After Andreas Voglsmanner netted a second for Union Berlin, Haaland then produced a stunning lob over Andreas Luthe with seven minutes remaining.

    "Did he really score a header today?" German star Hummels told DAZN. "He's been practising a lot.

    "He's got so many strengths, now he's also working on his weaknesses.

    "When he came to Dortmund from Salzburg [in 2020], his aerial game was pretty bad. [Former head coach] Edin [Terzic], Erling and I spent a lot of time practising crosses, over and over again, and now you can see where that gets you.

    "He's definitely going to get 10 more goals a season because of the fact he's improved his aerial game. He's just a goalscoring machine."

    Haaland has 68 goals in 67 competitive games overall for Dortmund, including 11 in eight this season.

    Hummels added: "Whenever he sees a chance to put the ball in the back of the net, his eyes light up. He's going to be one of the best forwards in the world for the next 15 years."

    Haaland has already scored two headers in the Bundesliga this season, as many as he managed in all of 2020-21.

    "If Erling scores those headers permanently now, then 'Wow!' and 'Congratulations!' to our upcoming opponents," said Dortmund head coach Marco Rose.

    Rose's Dortmund scored for a 37th consecutive Bundesliga game, a club record and the third longest such run in the league's history.

    Dortmund are third in the standings – a point adrift of champions and leaders Bayern Munich after five rounds.

  • Brady's unbeaten Buccaneers not satisfied: We can do better Brady's unbeaten Buccaneers not satisfied: We can do better

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers saw plenty of room for improvement even after a 48-25 defeat of the Atlanta Falcons that featured five touchdown passes by superstar Tom Brady. 

    NFL Super Bowl champions the Buccaneers held a 28-10 lead following the opening drive of the second half, but watched Matt Ryan and the Falcons narrow the deficit to three by the end of the third quarter on Sunday.

    Brady's final TD pass of the game and a pair of interception returns for touchdowns by Mike Edwards in the fourth period accounted for the lopsided final score, but the Buccaneers did not sound satisfied afterward. 

    "The defence made some huge plays, that's the great thing," Brady told reporters. "Fourth quarter, three-point game and they make a huge stop and [we] went down there and scored, which was good. Then a few big turnovers, so that was great to see.

    "Offensively, we grinded out and found a way but obviously we all wish we could have done some things to be more productive. It was a good team effort."

    Brady improved to 9-0 in his career against the Falcons and broke one of his own NFL records in the process. 

    The 44-year-old has already thrown nine touchdowns through two games this season – a new career-high after two games of a season.

    Brady has thrown for at least four passing touchdowns in four successive regular-season games, dating back to last term. It ties Hall of Famer Dan Marino for the NFL's second longest streak since 1950 – one shy of Peyton Manning's streak of five straight games.

    Including the playoffs, Sunday was the ninth straight game in which the Buccaneers won while scoring at least 30 points, breaking the league record of eight previously shared with Brady's 2007 and 2011 New England Patriots. 

    On the heels of a tense 31-29 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in the season opener, Tampa Bay are grateful to be unbeaten but do not believe they have found a rhythm. 

    "We left points out there," Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said. "Obviously we got 14 out of the defence but we left points out there offensively.

    "I haven't seen us getting close to playing consistently yet. Hopefully we'll get there next week because we're going to have to."

    The Buccaneers will face the high-powered Los Angeles Rams in Week 3 in their first road game of the season, and Brady agrees that the offence will need to do more going forward. 

    "What I think and I'm sure other guys feel the same way is I think we can do better," Brady said. "I really do. I think we have the opportunity, the way the games are flowing and the opportunities we're getting with the ball we can maybe have even more opportunities.

    "We were a little loose with the ball, some penalties at different times that have knocked us out of some scoring drives. Some missed throws that I've had, some missed reads. I certainly wish I had made a few better throws tonight.

    "But, again, it's good to get the win. We're 2-0 and there's a lot to build on."

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