Nashville send Beckham’s Inter Miami packing 3-0

Florida News

NASHVILLE: David Beckham’s Inter Miami saw their Major League Soccer play-off hopes destroyed as fellow newcomers Nashville deservedly sealed a place in the next round with a resounding 3-0 triumph at Nissan Stadium.

Nashville were in control after an early wonder goal from Randall Leal before a penalty from Hany Mukhtar and a second-half Dax McCarty effort helped the team from Music City hit all the right notes as Miami were easily dispatched.

Gary Smith’s team, who were great value for this triumph in the first ever post-season game to feature two expansion clubs, face Toronto next Tuesday for a place in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

“It was a fabulous performance,” Smith said. “Toronto are a top side with a lot of experience but we’ll have a plan and make life difficult for them.”

It was a sorry end to a difficult first campaign for the team co-owned by former England captain Beckham, who were forced to take the field without star striker Gonzalo Higuain and key defender Leandro Gonzalez Pirez after the Argentine pair, as well as Higuain’s older brother Federico, tested positive for Covid-19 and didn’t travel.

Losing such important performers was a hammer blow for Inter Miami coach Diego Alonso, who needed all the help available to him after winning just seven matches from 23 in the pandemic-disrupted regular season. Miami coach Alonso refused to use the absence of two of his best players as a reason for the defeat.

“We knew the difficulties we were facing missing some players but it’s not an excuse,” he said. “The last two weeks have been complex and complicated because it was tough for us to train. I didn’t make excuses ahead of the game and I am not going to make them now…”

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