Inter Miami were unable to come away with a victory after their 0-0 draw with Nashville SC, losing points for the first time since Lionel Messi's arrival.
Despite controlling 69% possession and popping off 13 shots to Nashville's seven, Miami were unable to find a breakthrough at DRV PNK Stadium as they left the game with dropped points in their pursuit of a playoff spot.
"Nashville is a team that defends well, and today I think they were a little deeper than in the [Leagues Cup] final," Miami head coach Gerardo 'Tata' Martino said postgame. "[Our] team had more rhythm in the second half than in the first half; paradoxically the best situations were [Robert] Taylor's two chances in the first half."
Nashville boss Gary Smith did deploy a back-three system for both games - a common set-up for his team - but his side didn't have to go for the MLS regular season matchup with Miami due to their placement in the Eastern Conference table (seventh place, 39 points).
Martino explained that his team was frustrated with the result, as they'll more than likely need to win most, if not all, of their remaining games to qualify for the postseason.
"In the first half, the ball was moving too slowly; in the second I think we did a little better, but it was hard for us. These games usually happen, I understand everyone’s frustration. We too felt it was a good night to continue gaining ground," he said.
The former Barcelona and Mexico national team boss then decided to have a go at Nashville's defensive style of play:
"When you put many players close to your own goal, normally you're going to have a good chance of keeping a clean sheet. What changed today is that [Sam] Surridge and [Hany] Mukhtar, they're very offensive players that they had in the first game [Leagues Cup final] that weren’t here or didn't start today," " Martino said.
"So defensively, they had more today, with 10 players that were more defensively sound, and we weren't able to have a lot of attacking threats."
Martino and Miami will have another crack at picking up three points when they travel out west on September 3 to take on LAFC and Denis Bouanga in what promises to be an entertaining clash.
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