Sport

Former Manchester United celebrity Nani hits winner as MLS returns with Orlando vs Inter Miami

MLS stars take part in a FIVE-MINUTE Black Lives Matter protest as they take a knee, raise gloved fists and wear t-shirts and masks before the action starts with former Manchester United winger Nani downing David Beckham’s Inter Miami with late, late winner

  • Wednesday night saw the return of major men’s team sports in the United States
  • The MLS is Back tournament kicked off with Orlando City beating Inter Miami 2-1
  • It followed a five-minute long demonstration in support of Black Lives Matter 

Major League Soccer stars took part in a powerful protest against racial injustice as they showed their support for the Black Lives Matter movement ahead of the action returning on Wednesday night.

Orlando City against Inter Miami was the first game to take place since coronavirus shut down sport back in March but stars from teams across the league – not just the two competing in Florida – walked onto the pitch wearing black gloves, face masks and t-shirts related to the movement before a silent demonstration.

Players raised their gloved right fists and took a knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement prior to the start of the match.  

There was an incredible display of support for the Black Lives Matter movement ahead of the MLS kicking off in Florida

There was an incredible display of support for the Black Lives Matter movement ahead of the MLS kicking off in Florida

Players from around the league gathered on the pitch ahead of kick-off on Wednesday night

Players from around the league gathered on the pitch ahead of kick-off on Wednesday night

Stars clad in black t-shirts and gloves raised a fist in the air as part of their demonstration

Stars clad in black t-shirts and gloves raised a fist in the air as part of their demonstration

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They stood around the field while the two teams competing in the game kneeled in the centre circle, with the protest lasting over five minutes.

The tournament, being held without fans inside a bio-secure ‘bubble’ at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, has had a stuttering start.

All 26 MLS clubs were set to take part until FC Dallas were withdrawn on Monday after 10 players and a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus.

Nashville could follow Dallas after five players tested positive and four more required further testing.

On Tuesday, the Vancouver Whitecaps announced five members of the team would not make the trip to Orlando due to coronavirus concerns.

Nani scored deep into stoppage time to give Orlando City a 2-1 win over Inter Miami

Nani scored deep into stoppage time to give Orlando City a 2-1 win over Inter Miami

The former Manchester United man struck in the 97th minute of the game for a 2-1 victory

The former Manchester United man struck in the 97th minute of the game for a 2-1 victory

Those same concerns led LAFC’s Carlos Vela, the league’s reigning MVP, to opt out of the tournament on Monday.

When the action did get underway,  Nani scored deep into stoppage time to give Orlando City a 2-1 win over Florida rivals Inter Miami.

The former Manchester United winger scored from close range to give Orlando the three points in the group stage of the ‘MLS is Back’ tournament.

Expansion team Miami, part-owned by former England captain David Beckham, went ahead early in the second half through Juan Agudelo but the game changed when their defender Andres Reyes took an elbow to the face and was taken off on a stretcher.

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Nani passed to Christopher Mueller for the equaliser in the 70th minute before the Portuguese delivered a late winner in the 97th minute. 

Inter Miami's Juan Agudelo (right) had earlier given his side the lead before the turnaround

Inter Miami’s Juan Agudelo (right) had earlier given his side the lead before the turnaround

Players from Orlando City and Inter Miami took the knee in the centre circle ahead of kick-off

Players from Orlando City and Inter Miami took the knee in the centre circle ahead of kick-off


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