MLS Weekend Review: Inter Miami’s play-off dream becomes nightmare, while Orlando fall victim to VAR

Despite their late push, Inter Miami's play-off fate was sealed following a 3-1 loss to New York City FC, while Orlando City thought they had their post-season wrapped up, only for VAR to intervene.

This weekend's action saw a number of play-off spots clinched, but with a week left in the regular season, there's still much to play for.

A round of midweek games are scheduled before the all-important Decision Day next Sunday, when 13 games take place.

New England Revolution have already secured the top spot in the Eastern Conference and the Supporters Shield. That position will give them a first-round bye in the MLS Cup Play-offs as well as a home field advantage when they are in action.

Philadelphia Union, Nashville SC, and NYCFC all clinched spots over the weekend in the Eastern Conference. Inter Miami and Chicago Fire were eliminated, leaving six teams battling for the final three spots.

Atlanta United and New York Red Bulls currently occupy play-off spots, and can feel confident of retaining them with two games left. CF Montreal also have that advantage but find themselves three points adrift in the table.

Columbus Crew and DC United will find it even tougher, with just one game left to prove their play-off credentials.

Sporting KC and Seattle Sounders are tied for first in the Western Conference and both have two games remaining. They have confirmed their play-off spots, as have Colorado RapidsSan Jose were eliminated over the weekend, leaving six teams to battle it out for the final four spots.

Portland Timbers, Minnesota United, Vancouver Whitecaps, and LA Galaxy are in the positions now. But with two games left, Real Salt Lake and LAFC can still snatch a post-season spot. Three of those four teams - LA Galaxy, LAFC, and Vancouver - play on Monday or Tuesday.

Inter Miami eliminated, NYCFC continue streak

New York City FC, MLS, NYCFC

Phil Neville's Inter Miami team made a late run in recent months but it was too little, too late for the Herons. Their scoring struggles and win droughts in September and early October were what ultimately scuppered their play-off hopes.

Their fate was confirmed on Saturday following a 3-1 loss to NYCFC that officially eliminated Inter Miami from contention.

In contrast, it was a crucial win for NYCFC, who found form just in time to extend their play-off streak to six seasons - they've reached the post-season in all but their expansion season of 2015.

They enter the post-season in good form too, having won three times in the last 10 days, outscoring opponents 10-1 in the process. Ronny Delia put the team back in a 4-2-3-1 formation and the team responded to move up to fourth place in the East.

Inter Miami will close their second season next Sunday on the road against New England. With 11 wins and five draws they have 38 points from 33 games, while the final play-off team will have at least 46 points.

VAR controversially takes away Orlando winner

Nani, Orlando City, MLS

Orlando City thought they had a late winner against Nashville SC to clinch a play-off spot, but VAR denied them, forcing both teams to settle for a 1-1 draw. The result leaves Nashville in third place, with a play-off spot confirmed, while Orlando now find themselves fifth and needing a positive result in their final game to secure a spot.

Daryl Dike, who has struggled for consistency since returning from his England loan, scored in the 18th minute to put the Lions on top. Nani and Chris Mueller helped create the goal, but the offensive trio had little other impact throughout the game.

Nashville tied the game through Hany Mukhtar, before Orlando looked like they snatched the winner through Andres Perea's free-kick. However, VAR controversially ruled it out for a foul on the goal line. As a result, Orlando head to Montreal next weekend needing a result to confirm their play-off spot.

However, Montreal are themselves only three points outside the play-offs, and with a game in hand against Houston on Wednesday, their visit from the Lions could prove to be a dramatic affair.

But, should Montreal lose on Wednesday and New York Red Bulls take home a point against Atlanta United, their fate could already be sealed before their clash with Orlando.

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