Nashville vs Inter Miami Player Rating as Messi and Suarez snatch crucial draw

Inter Miami

Luis Suarez’s 95th-minute equalizer helped Inter Miami steal a vital 2-2 away draw against Nashville in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions Cup Round of 16 tie.

Nashville took a two-goal lead early in the first half thanks to Jacob Shaffelburg’s superb rebound, but Lionel Messi’s brilliance pulled it back one goal before Suarez leveled the game deep into stoppage time.

It took Shaffelburg just four minutes to stun Inter Miami when he clinically finished off Shaquell Moore’s pass after a mistake by Tomas Aviles.

Inter Miami kept pressing to equalize, but Nashville absorbed the pressure and tried to spring counterattacks into space.

Shortly after halftime, Shaffelburg doubled Nashville’s advantage with a beautiful outside shot.

However, the two-goal lead lasted just five minutes as Messi stepped outside the box to produce an expert curling finish.

It looked like Nashville would score a third goal in the 83rd minute, but Moore was just offside before getting to the finish.

Suarez stepped up in stoppage time to grab the equalizer when he rose highest and unmarked in the six yard box to head home Sergio Busquets.

Inter Miami Player Rating

Drake Callender (6/10): Not much he could have done on either goal. Both were rockets… that happens sometimes.

Noah Allen (7/10): Was active and involved. A good shift from the young defender who filled in for Jordi Alba

Tomas Aviles (5/10): Was a bit slow to recognize the danger on the first goal, which cost Miami big time.

Nicolas Freire (6/10): The best of the three centerbacks, but that’s not saying much. Had a few good moments, including one massive block, but was very, very lucky to get bailed out by a close offside call late.

Serhiy Kryvtsov (5/10): Struggled at moments, for sure. Hasn’t really been good enough so far this season.

Julian Gressel (6/10): Moved back into a wingback role, Gressel had one good chance and would have had an assist if not for a close offside call. Had some issues defensively, but you can see how he fits in with this team in this spot.

Sergio Busquets (8/10): Got exactly what you’d expect from him. Dictated the game with ridiculous passing while making a few key contributions defensively. The late assist was just a cherry on top, but a very important cherry, to be fair.

Diego Gomez (6/10): Nearly got a goal, only to have it called back for a close offside call. Outside of that, he was surely involved but not super dangerous.

Federico Redondo (6/10): His debut was almost short-lived as he could have been sent off early on for a hands-to-the-face offense. A good introduction, though, as he showed the energy and smoothness that he’ll bring to this rebuilt Miami midfield.

Luis Suarez (8/10): Got the assist on Messi’s goal and scored the late winner to cap the comeback. A good example of how little it takes for Suarez to strike.

Lionel Messi (8/10): No stopping him, is there? A fantastic finish to get a crucial away goal. Messi is always there when Miami needs a moment, and he provided another on Thursday to set up a fun second leg.

SUB

David Ruiz (6/10): Came on late, but didn’t get enough touches to really change anything.

Lawson Sunderland(N/A): Thrown into the fray during stoppage time. Got on the ball a few times, but it was too late to make a real difference.

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