Short-handed Inter Miami still tackle Nashville SC

League: MLS

Posted on: 30 Jun, 2024 at 03:09 AM

Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Ian Fray and Jordi Alba scored four minutes apart late in the first half and Inter Miami hung on for a 2-1 win over host Nashville SC on Saturday night.

Miami (13-3-5, 44 points) won despite missing its top two goal-scorers, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, who are both playing for their national teams at Copa America. But it was still able to improve to 10-1-2 in its past 13 matches.

Nashville (6-6-8, 26 points) lost for just the second time in eight matches (3-2-3) under interim coach Rumba Munthali. It was outshot 15-10 but gave itself a chance to at least salvage a point thanks to Hany Mukhtar's goal from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute.

But Inter Miami had done enough by then to get the victory, thanks to a well-executed set piece and an insane strike from outside the box just before halftime.

The first goal was teed up following an excellent corner kick from Julian Gressel. He swerved the ball from the right corner to an unmarked Fray in front of the net. Fray headed the ball over the outstretched hand of Nashville goalkeeper Joe Willis and under the crossbar in the 40th minute for his second goal in as many matches.

Four minutes later, Alba delivered what turned out to be the match-winner with a lightning bolt of a kick. Settling the ball outside the box after Nashville SC fended off another corner kick from Gressel, Alba ripped a left-footed shot into the right corner of the net, just out of the reach of Willis.

That capped a 30-minute stretch that saw Miami carry the play, and it finished with an 11-4 advantage in shots in the first half.

In part because it was playing from behind in the second half, Nashville turned around the possession numbers, and it held the ball for 52.8 percent of the match. But it wasn't able to slip the equalizer past Drake Callender, who recorded four saves for Inter Miami.

--Field Level Media