Inter Miami came away with an exciting late victory on Sunday night, taking down Nashville SC 2-1 at DRV PNK Stadium. The team once again displayed its resilient spirit, coming back from a one-goal deficit to claim a result, this time taking three points thanks to a stoppage time winner.
"When a team scores late on, I think it’s a great sign for everybody. It’s a great sign for everybody inside the club that we’re headed in the right direction," said head coach Phil Neville.
Neville also shared the elation the team experienced after the dramatic late turn, expressing how pleased he was with the team getting the result it deserved.
“I think it’s one of complete joy. I wouldn't have been happy with a point. I thought our play deserved the victory. I think I would’ve been disappointed at the end because it would’ve been two points dropped in a home game where we want to keep the momentum at home winning in front of these incredible supporters so I think it was rewards for our performances, just rewards for our efforts, just rewards for what the boys have been putting in.”
Defender Christian Makoun, meanwhile, echoed his coach’s sentiments and turned his focus towards the future.
“It was a feeling of joy. We’re so happy because we’ve been through some really difficult moments but we never put our heads down. In the end the ones that give everything always get their reward,” said Makoun. “It was our destiny to win that match and thank God everything went how it was supposed to and the test was just scoring at the end. So, we’re happy and it was really important for us to get what we deserved at home. Now we’re calm, happy and tomorrow turning our attention to what comes next.”
The pair also touched on what they felt was a potential turning point for the team, citing July’s loss to New England as an important date that helped get the team into gear.
“New England was almost like, that was as low as it got. We couldn’t get any lower than that. It was a time where our reputations were on the line and we came out. We took some punches, we accepted the punches and we all of a sudden started to play like a team,” said Neville. “We started to believe in each other, we started to trust each other and slowly and slowly we worked everyday. We are a fitter team. We are outrunning most teams now. And I think that the work that we did when we had three weeks off...we are beginning to bear the fruits of that.”
“This is a team that aspires to be big and after New England our pride kicked in. I think it did us good and from there it’s made us our most resolute,” said Makoun. “We’ve played a few good matches, we’ve picked up points which is the most important thing and what we needed. Now we have to continue with that attitude, continue with the camaraderie, with that family spirit that we have, and always show it on the field.”
Neville also touched on the importance of the win over Nashville as the team looks to build on its current momentum, but emphasized the importance of taking things one game at a time.
“I thought [yesterday] was the critical one in terms of where we want to go. We have two games in hand, but that means nothing. We’re going game-to-game, but today was the one where, it’s a little message inside the building, that we’re starting to believe, build and gain confidence. And we know we had a tough stretch on the road, we know that the second half of the season is the most important part of the season and we know that our own faults will determine where we finish in the year, but we are not going to get carried away. We are feet thoroughly on the floor and we want to take each game as it comes. Every single game seems like a big game and I think the team is relishing that.”