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Inter Miami shut out in postseason debut, ending inaugural season

Nashville advances with 3-0 victory

Inter Miami defender Mikey Ambrose plays the ball against Nashville SC during the first half of an MLS soccer playoff match Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn.
Inter Miami defender Mikey Ambrose plays the ball against Nashville SC during the first half of an MLS soccer playoff match Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Randall Leal and Hany Mukhtar scored 10 minutes apart in the first half and Nashville beat Inter Miami 3-0 on Friday night in an all-expansion play-in round game.

Nashville advanced to face Toronto FC, last year’s runner-up, on Tuesday night in East Hartford, Connecticut.

The defeat ends Inter Miami’s first season, one in which they finished shorthanded because of reported COVID-19 infections.

Leandro González Pirez, Gonzalo Higuaín, Federico Higuaín and Andrés Reyes were among the players not suiting up Friday.

Leal scored Nashville’s first playoff goal in the 14th minute with a shot from distance.

Mukhtar sent Miami goalkeeper John McCarthy diving the wrong way on a penalty kick in the 24th.

Dax McCarty, who played in his 24 MLS playoff games, made it 3-0 in the 57th.

“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,” Inter Miami manager Diego Alonso said. “We’re hurt by the elimination tonight. We regret that we weren’t able to advance to the next round for our fans.”