Gonzalo Higuain nets two as Inter Miami seal playoff spot

Gonzalo Higuain continued his torrid play with two goals as Inter Miami CF clinched an MLS Eastern Conference playoff spot with a stellar 4-1 victory over Orlando City SC on Wednesday night in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Leonardo Campana and Ariel Lassiter also scored goals as Inter Miami (14-13-6, 48 points) won its fourth straight game to move into fifth place in the East.

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Ercan Kara scored for Orlando City (13-14-6, 45 points), which fell into eighth place in the East due to the Columbus Crew playing Charlotte FC to a 2-2 tie earlier Wednesday. The result lifted Columbus (10-7-16, 46 points) into the seventh and final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Orlando City hosts Columbus on Sunday in the regular-season finale for both teams.

The red-hot Higuain announced Monday that he is retiring after the season, but he is going out in style. He has six goals during Miami's winning streak and has eight over the past seven matches. Higuain, 34, leads Miami with 16 goals.

Orlando took 16 shots, but only one was on target. Miami placed four of its six shots on net.

Pedro Gallese had two stops for the Lions, and Drake Callender wasn't called on to make any for Miami.

Miami began the rout with a goal in the opening minute. Campana lofted a long left-footed shot toward the net, and Gallese was not able to get back in time as the ball went over his head for Campana's 11th goal of the campaign.

Higuain scored his first goal of the night in the 38th minute. A pass from Lassiter short-hopped him, but he still got off a left-footed shot that beat Gallese.

Five minutes into the second half, Orlando City's Ruan was called for a hand ball, and the Herons were awarded a penalty kick.

Higuain stepped up to the spot in the 52nd minute and sent a right-footed shot into the left corner of the net to register the brace.

Just four minutes later, Miami increased the lead to 4-0 when Lassiter sent a booming left-footer from beyond the box past Gallese for his fourth goal of the season.

Orlando got on the board in the 71st minute when Facundo Torres fed Kara, who sent a right-footed shot that hit the left goal post and went into the net for his 11th goal of the season.

Miami closes the regular season by hosting CF Montreal on Sunday.