NASHVILLE, Tenn. (November 20, 2020) – Inter Miami CF closed its inaugural Major League Soccer (MLS) season with a 3-0 road playoff loss to Nashville SC.
“I think their goal at the start changed the tone of the match a bit. We suffered that blow and were only able to get settled and play an even match for the last 15 minutes of the first half,” said manager Diego Alonso. “We’re hurt by the elimination tonight. We regret that we weren’t able to advance to the next round for our fans.”
Inter Miami lined up for its first playoff match missing several players, including Leandro González Pirez, Gonzalo Higuaín, Federico Higuaín and Andrés Reyes. Of the available players, six were MLS playoff debutants in Nicolás Figal, Blaise Matuidi, John McCarthy, Lewis Morgan, Dylan Nealis and Rodolfo Pizarro. Three of the remaining starters – Mikey Ambrose, A.J. DeLaGarza and Alvas Powell – were former MLS Cup winners while Juan Agudelo and Wil Trapp brought extensive playoff experience.
Nashville opened the scoring in the 14th minute with a long range strike; midfielder Randall Leal loaded up and struck a powerful shot into the top corner of the net from a significant distance to make it 1-0.
The hosts went on to double their lead in the 24th minute after Hany Mukhtar was awarded a penalty. The midfielder stepped up and took the penalty himself, scoring and making it 2-0, a lead they protected heading into halftime.
Nashville scored to make it 3-0 in the 57th minute when midfielder Dax McCarty made a driving run before firing a shot from the top of the box that found the back of the net.
The match marked the close of the Club’s historic inaugural season. Inter Miami made its MLS debut on March 1, the season was suspended two days before the Inter Miami CF Stadium opener and was later resumed with the unprecedented MLS is Back Tournament . The team went on to win its first home match 3-2 in August, brought global stars such as renowned Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuaín and the only current FIFA World Cup winner in the league Matuidi, and became just the seventh MLS franchise to clinch a playoff berth in its inaugural season.
The Club will look to build on the strong foundation established this season as it enters 2021.
NSH – Randall Leal (Alex Muyl) 14’, Hany Mukhtar (PK) 24’, Dax McCarty 57’
NSH – Alistair Johnston (Yellow Card 30’)
IMCF – Dylan Nealis (Yellow Card 5’), Wil Trapp, (Yellow Card 31’)
Nashville SC – GK Joe Willis, D Alistair Johnston, Walker Zimmerman, Dave Romney, Daniel Lovitz, M Dax McCarty, Aníbal Godoy (Tah Anunga 74’), Randall Leal (Handwalla Bwana 67’), Hany Mukhtar (Derrick Jones 67’), Alex Muyl (Taylor Washington 80’), F Jhonder Cádiz (Daniel Ríos 67’)
Unused Substitutes – GK Elliot Panicco, D Jalil Anibaba, Eric Miller, M Matt LaGrassa
Inter Miami CF – GK John McCarthy, D Dylan Nealis (Matías Pellegrini 33’), Alvas Powell, Nicolás Figal, A.J. DeLaGarza, Mikey Ambrose (Ben Sweat 76’), M Lewis Morgan, Wil Trapp (Victor Ulloa 63’), Blaise Matuidi, Rodolfo Pizarro, F Juan Agudelo (Julián Carranza 62’)
Unused Substitutes – GK Drake Callender, D Christian Makoun, M Brek Shea, F Robbie Robinson
Details of the Game:
Date: November 20, 2020
Time: 9 p.m. ET
Weather: Partly Cloudy
NSH – 46%
IMCF – 54%
NSH – 7
IMCF – 9
NSH – 3
IMCF – 1
NSH – 2
IMCF – 4
NSH – 22
IMCF – 13