For a 0-0 draw, Sunday night’s match had plenty of excitement. Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC combined for 29 total shots, although neither side was able to find the back of the net.
Head coach Gary Smith went with an unchanged lineup from Wednesday’s draw with Orlando, giving Alistair Johnston another start at right back and keeping Alex Muyl in the XI.
#NashvilleSC starting XI for #MIAvNSH:— Speedway Soccer (@SpeedwaySoc) September 6, 2020
Willis; Johnston, Zimmerman, Romney, Lovitz; McCarty, Godoy; Leal, Mukhtar, Muyl, Badji
BENCH: Panicco, Anibaba, Maher, Beckeles, Washington, Jones, Anunga, Danladi, Ríos#EveryoneN pic.twitter.com/7eNYuZWAYQ
Miami came out of the gates hot, creating several chances early in the first half. Rodolfo Pizarro missed a pair of chances early, and Julian Carranza also failed to convert from close range. It felt as though Nashville could be in danger early on, before the visitors began to grown into the match.
Dom Badji found himself in good positions a couple of times, with a good opportunity after Dan Lovitz played him in behind, and seeing a chance cleared off the line from a corner kick.
Nashville continued to knock at the door after the half, with Muyl teeing up Hany Mukhtar for a one-on-one with Miami ‘keeper Luis Robles. The number 10 hit his shot with plenty of power, but put it too close to Robles, who was able to save.
Miami bombarded Nashville for long stretches of the second half, with Joe Willis called into action on multiple occasions, and the entire back four pitching in with tackles to keep Miami off the scoresheet.
Nashville had a final chance to bury the match late in the half. A deflection off of Daniel Ríos put Lovitz through on goal, with Robles out of position and the net beckoning. The defender looked destined to score, but dragged his effort inches wide of the far post.
Despite the chances they were able to create, finishing remains an issue for Nashville. “It’s been the Achilles heel for this team,” Smith said after the match. “Our opportunities to score were every bit as clear cut as theirs.”
Smith was quick to point out, however, that the draw against a talented Miami side was a valuable point. “Let’s be real: there is a wealth of talent in that other side. The fact that we are so frustrated that we didn’t get the goal and get all three points tells a story.”
The draw puts Nashville in 11th place in Eastern Conference. With nine points from nine matches, the expansion side is two points out of playoff position. They’ll have a chance to make up ground next weekend, taking on eighth placed Atlanta United at Nissan Stadium on Sunday.
Shots: Miami 13 – 16 Nashville
Shots on goal: Miami 5 – 4 Nashville:
Expected goals: Miami 1.95 – 1.54 Nashville
Goals: Miami 0 – 0 Nashville
Possession: Miami 53.8% – 46.2% Nashville
Yellow cards: Miami 1 – 2 Nashville
Red cards: Miami 0 – 0 Nashville