NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Aug. 19, 2023)– Nashville Soccer Club fell to Inter Miami CF in the Leagues Cup 2023 Final after 10 rounds of penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw in regulation. Lionel Messi opened up the scoring in the 23rd minute with an individual effort to put Inter Miami CF ahead, but Fafà Picault leveled the game off a Hany Mukhtar corner kick in the 57th minute.
Following the 1-1 draw, the match went straight to penalty kicks. Inter Miami CF goalkeeper Drake Callender stopped an early Nashville SC attempt, but Elliot Panicco made a strong must-save stop to set Sam Surridge up to send the Boys in Gold into sudden death. Nashville SC and Inter Miami CF took each other through 10 rounds of penalties, ending with each side’s goalkeeper taking a penalty, where Nashville SC eventually fell.
As Runner-Up, Nashville SC has secured a First-Round entrance into the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup.
First-ever Final: The Leagues Cup 2023 Final marked Nashville SC’s first-ever tournament final appearance.
Fafà for Goals: Fafà Picault’s game-leveling goal marked his third goal of the tournament, placing him level for team lead in goals with Sam Surridge. Picault appeared in all seven of Nashville SC’s Leagues Cup 2023 matches, starting four.
Surridge Is Super: Sam Surridge’s assist to Picault’s 57th minute goal marks his fifth goal contribution of the tournament. Surridge has had at least one goal contribution in every match in which he has appeared for Nashville SC since being signed in July as the club’s third Designated Player.
Back to MLS: Nashville SC will resume its MLS regular season as the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs approach by visiting Atlanta United FC on Aug. 26 at Mercedez-Benz Stadium. Nashville SC currently sits fourth in the Eastern Conference with a record of 11W-8L-5D, 38 points.
MIA 23’: Lionel Messi picks up a blocked shot and threads the ball into the upper left corner of the net
NSH 57’: Hany Mukhtar services a corner into the box, and Fafà Picault finds the ball to poke it into the net
· Nashville SC:
o set a new record for highest tournament finish in club history as Leagues Cup 2023 runner-up
o extended its scoring streak to eight matches
o has seen 10 different goal scorers in Leagues Cup 2023 play: Hany Mukhtar, Jacob Shaffelburg, Walker Zimmerman, Fafà Picault, Luke Haakenson, Aníbal Godoy, Sam Surridge, Shaq Moore, Teal Bunbury and Alex Muyl
o took a Leagues Cup 2023 match to penalties for the third time in its seven-match run
o had 11 shots and six shots on target to Inter Miami CF's six shots and two shots on target
o extended its record against Inter Miami CF to 4W-2L-3D in series history across all competitions
· Randall Leal returned to the pitch for the first time since his injury in Leagues Cup 2023 Match 1 against Colorado Rapids on July 23, 2023
· Lukas MacNaughton started six of seven matches in Leagues Cup 2023
· Hany Mukhtar recorded his seventh assist in Leagues Cup 2023 leading Nashville SC in goal contributions with eight through the tournament
· Elliott Panicco
o started in his fourth Leagues Cup 2023 match following two appearances as an injury time substitute
o recorded his second shutout in Leagues Cup 2023
· Fafà Picault
o is tied with Sam Surridge for team-lead with three Leagues Cup 2023 goals
o led the team in expected goals (xG) with 0.39
· Sam Surridge
o registered his first start for Nashville SC
o recorded his second assist, fourth goal contribution for Nashville SC
Nashville SC vs. Inter Miami CF
Aug. 19, 2023 – GEODIS Park
NSH: 1 (9)
MIA: 1 (10)
MIA: Lionel Messi (Unassisted) 23’
NSH: Fafà Picault (A: Sam Surridge, Hany Mukhtar) 57’
NSH: Aníbal Godoy (Caution) 54’
MIA: Victor Ulloa (Caution) 90’
NSH Starters: Elliot Panicco; Dan Lovitz, Lukas MacNaughton, Walker Zimmerman (C), Shaq Moore; Dax McCarty (Sean Davis 71’), Hany Mukhtar, Alex Muyl (Randall Leal 82’), Aníbal Godoy, Fafà Picault (Jacob Shaffelburg 71’); Sam Surridge
Substitutes: Joe Willis, Jack Maher, Teal Bunbury, Laurence Wyke, Josh Bauer, Taylor Washington, Luke Haakenson, Tah Brian Anunga, Ben Martino
MIA Starters: Drake Callender; DeAndre Yedlin, Dixon Arroyo (Victor Ulloa 80’), Sergio Busquets, Lionel Messi (C), Robert Taylor (David Ruiz 80’), Josef Martinez (Leonardo Campana 68’), Jordi Alba, Sergii Kryvtsov, Benjamin Cremaschi (Diego Gomez 68’), Kamal Miller
Substitutes: Christopher McVey, Tomas Aviles, Facundo Farias, Robbie Robinson, Harvey Neville, Carlos dos Santos, Allen Noah, Cole Jensen
Referee: Ismail Elfath
AR1: Corey Parker
AR2: Kyle Atkins
4TH Official: Pierre-Luc Lauziere
Weather: Clear, 80 degrees