Without Messi, Miami's winning run ends with derby draw

AFP , Thursday 16 May 2024

Inter Miami's five-match winning run came to an end on Wednesday as, without the injured Lionel Messi, they were held to a 0-0 draw at Orlando City.

Orlando City goalkeeper Pedro Gallese, left, collides with Inter Miami forward Luis Suarez (9) while making a save during the second half of an MLS soccer match Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Orlando, Fla. Photo: AP


Messi had featured in all five of those wins for the MLS league leaders but sat out the game in Orlando due to a knee injury.

Miami said the injury was not serious and Messi has trained in recent days but the club opted not to feature him in the midweek fixture.

Messi's former Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez, who went into the midweek round of games as joint top-scorer in the league with 11 goals did start and he had the early chances.

The Uruguayan was picked out at the back post but his shot lacked power and was well dealt with by Orlando's Peruvian international keeper Pedro Gallese.

Paraguayan Matias Rojas and Suarez then combined well to set up Robert Taylor but the Finnish winger saw his effort block.

Orlando grew into the game though and Miami keeper Drake Callender had to be at his best to keep out a shot from Martin Ojeda after the Argentine had found space with a superb turn on the edge of the box.

Colombian Luis Muriel then tested Callender with a shot from the edge of the box but the two defences began to get a grip on the game.

Orlando had the best chance of the second half when Facundo Torres fed Muriel but the former Atalanta winger hesitated and was robbed inside the box.

In the last seconds, Orlando pushed forward in search of a winner and the ball fell to Japanese substitute Yutaro Tsukada but he screwed his shot high and wide.

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