Nashville SC faces Inter Miami and Lionel Messi tonight in Miami (6:30 p.m. CT, Apple TV).
Follow along here for live updates:
Two free kicks from two stars did not break a stalemate.
Messi missed an attempt, and minutes later, Nashville midfielder Hany Mukhtar raced the ball half the length of the field before drawing a foul. But he also missed a free kick.
73′ — After little action early in the second half, there’s a sense of urgency now.
Nashville’s Hany Mukhtar tried a through ball, but Fafá Picault was caught offside. That followed back-to-back saves, one from each team.
For a moment it looked like Nashville — which hasn’t had possession for very long all game — would take a 1-0 lead.
46′ — Hany Mukhtar has entered the game. Will that change anything for Nashville SC? The midfielder and Nashville’s first Designated Player didn’t start and played none of the first half.
Miami still doesn’t have a shot on goal for the match.
It’s scoreless in South Florida and Nashville must be feeling fortunate.
Miami has owned time of possession 71.7% to 28.3%. Yet, it’s gotten no on-target scoring attempts.
44′ — Miami has dominated possession 70.2 to 29.5. While the opportunities have piled up for Messi and his squad, the teams are tied 3-3 in shots.
Nashville’s Teal Bunbury still has the lone shot on goal.
Hat backwards, bright smile and a stick in hand.
No, Ken Griffey Jr. wasn’t swinging a bat. The 2016 MLB Hall of Fame inductee and former 22-year baseball veteran is at Nashville-Miami as a photographer, wearing a green vest and wielding a huge camera.
Hey, retirement is what you make it.
Griffey’s 630 home runs rank as the seventh-most in MLB history.
With Hany Mukhtar coming off the bench, here’s something to note:
He’s been really good against Miami, with three goals and three assists in those games.
According to Nashville SC, his involvement in the team’s 14 total goals against Inter Miami CF rates at 42.9% over nine matches across all competitions.
9′ — Nashville SC forward Teal Bunbury’s already busy. His right-footed shot from the left side was saved in the bottom right corner.
Nashville hasn’t made many mistakes through 15 minutes.
In a pre-game interview with broadcasters, Nashville SC manager Gary Smith was asked if this game was about revenge for losing to Miami two weeks ago.
Smith didn’t bite.
“Revenge is a big word. I don’t think so,” he said.
He was a question mark before. Messi scored a goal in Miami’s win in Nashville during the Leagues Cup two weeks ago, but some wondered if Miami would rest him in its quest to capture a MLS Cup Playoff bid.
Reaching the postseason will be a tall task for 14th-place Miami (6-3-14, 21 points).
Nashville (11-5-9, 38 points) is clinging to seventh place in the Eastern Conference, and won’t have stars Walker Zimmerman or Sam Surridge available. Hany Mukhtar will come off the bench. The top seven teams from each conference receive automatic MLS Cup Playoffs bids, while the No. 8 and 9 seeds play in a Wild Card round.