Nashville SC stay hot, down Inter Miami

Hany Mukhtar delivered a brilliant assist on Fafa Picault's first-half goal, and defender Lukas MacNaughton scored after halftime, as Nashville SC continued to surge with Wednesday night's 2-1 victory that cooled off visiting Inter Miami.Picault's third goal came in the 33rd minute, while MacNaughton, starting in place of injured starter Walker Zimmerman (lower body), headed home his first MLS goal in the 49th for Nashville (6-3-4, 22 points), which is amid a 3-0-2 league stretch.A winner of three straight league matches entering this contest, Miami (5-7-0, 15 points) woke up after a dismal first half to record 11 total shots, but only Dixon Arroyo's goal in the 93rd minute.Nashville dominated the first half, controlling 67 percent of the possession and not conceding a shot from Miami. The visitors also didn't manage a touch within Nashville's penalty area before intermission.Nashville struck first on the brilliance of Mukhtar, whose devastating stop-and-go move faked out Miami defender Christopher McVey into going the wrong direction inside the box on the side of the net. Mukhtar, who has six goals and six assists in 2023, then sent the ball to Picault, who got enough to bounce it home.Even with Josef Martinez, owner of 101 MLS goals, coming off the bench to start the second half for Miami, it was Nashville that extended its advantage within the first five minutes. Off an entry from Shaq Moore, MacNaughton outleaped the crowd in front of the net for his milestone goal.Martinez did provide Miami's first scoring chance, when his 68th-minute, point-blank header went into the hands of Nashville keeper Joe Willis. Willis also came up with a key save on Leonardo Campana's header off a Miami corner in the 72nd minute.However, Arroyo's strike just under the bar off a late corner proved to be only consolation for Miami.These sides will meet again Tuesday at Miami, in the Round of 16 of U.S. Open Cup play.--Field Level Media