Indiana Vassilev scored in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time as Inter Miami rallied for a stunning 2-1 victory over Nashville SC in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Sunday, ending the visitors’ nine-game unbeaten streak.
Vassilev, signed on a loan from English Premier League club Aston Villa on July 7, was six yards out when he headed a cross from Federico Higuain for his first goal as the Herons (4-8-4, 16 points) set a club record by going four matches without a loss (2-0-2).
CJ Sapong gave Nashville (6-2-10, 28 points) the lead in the 48th minute. Gonzalo Higuain tied it 12 minutes later.
Nashville was 4-0-5 in the previous nine games but dropped to 0-2-5 on the road this year.
It was Miami’s first win in five games vs. Nashville (1-2-2), including a 2020 playoff loss.
Nashville had no success from the run of play but relied on Sapong’s tally off an out-swinging corner kick by Hany Mukhtar. Sapong was falling back when he placed a powerful header past goalie Nick Marsman for his sixth goal.
Miami responded with a Blaise Matuidi through ball to Gonzalo Higuain. The Miami forward settled the ball with his first touch and lifted a shot over sprawling goalkeeper Joe Willis for his eighth goal, his third in three matches.
It was the first goal Miami had ever scored against Nashville.
The suffocating conditions (90 degrees, 100 heat index) and Nashville’s defensive structure weren’t conducive for a back-and-forth first half, though Miami made several probing efforts only to be denied by Willis, MLS’ co-shutout leader with eight.
He finished the game with seven saves, the best coming on the final play before the break when Kieran Gibbs dribbled to the left side of the box, forcing Willis to nab the rising shot.
Nashville had one shot on goal before the Sapong goal.
Miami next plays at New York City FC on Saturday. Nashville hosts D.C. United on Aug. 15.
–Field Level Media
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