Major League Soccer team Inter Miami CF (pictured) clinched a spot in the playoffs in their first season with a win over FC Cincinnati on the final day of the regular season on Sunday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Photo courtesy of MLS Soccer/Inter Miami CF
Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Inter Miami -- the first-year Major League Soccer squad co-owned by David Beckham -- earned a spot in the playoffs with a 2-1 triumph over FC Cincinnati on the final day of the regular season.
Inter Miami claimed the victory on Sunday at Inter Miami CF Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Mikey Ambrose and Leandro Gonzalez Pirez scored for the home team. Joe Gyau scored for FC Cincinnati.
"We're excited, we've been saying since we won the game that this is a new season now," Ambrose told reporters. "Everything that happened in the past, all that stuff we went through, it doesn't matter now.
"It's a new season so we're looking forward to the next game. Now it's playoffs so it's one game at a time, every game is a championship. It's going to be fun."
Beckham's team played their first game in franchise history on March 1, which resulted in a 1-0 loss to LAFC. The team then stopped play -- along with the rest of MLS -- in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
MLS teams then reported to Orlando, Fla., on July 8 for the MLS is Back tournament, which ended on Aug. 11, before they resumed the regular season on Aug. 12. The 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs start with two play-in matches on Nov. 20 and run through Dec. 12.
"It has been a really difficult year with everything that's happened and I think that we have pushed forward a lot.," Inter Miami manager Diego Alonso said.
"We got the reward that we were looking for and we're in the playoffs. It's a huge step for us, I'm very happy for the players and everything they gave."
Inter Miami's Lewis Morgan sent in a corner kick to set up the first score of Sunday's game. The inswinger was deflected out of the box, where it found Ambrose. The Inter Miami left back then ripped a half-volley shot from 25-yard out and found the far-post netting in the 19th minute.
Morgan then assisted Inter Miami's second score about four minutes later. The Inter Miami striker curled in another corner kick during that sequence. That ball fell into the box before Gonzalez Pirez took flight for a head ball toward the back post.
The flicked shot sailed over FC Cincinnati keeper Spencer Richey and found the net to double the lead in the 23rd minute.
Brandon Vazquez assisted Gyau for the final goal of the match in the 66th minute.
Vazquez sent a short pass to the FC Cincinnati winger at the to right corner of the box during that sequence. Gyau then took a touch to his left before he bent a shot into the upper left corner and beat Inter Miami keeper John McCarthy.
Inter Miami battles fellow first-year MLS team Nashville SC in their play-in game at 9 p.m. EST on Nov. 20. The New England Revolution battle the Montreal Impact in the other play-in game at 6:30 p.m. EST on Nov. 20.