Suarez on target as Miami fight back in Montreal

AFP , Sunday 12 May 2024

Inter Miami fought back from two goals down to win 3-2 at Montreal in Major League Soccer on Saturday with Luis Suarez on target again as the league leaders won their fifth straight game.

Inter Miami forward Luis Suarez (9) reacts after scoring against CF Montreal during the first half of an MLS soccer. AP


Miami have made a habit of slow starts this season and they were caught cold yet again when Montreal took the lead in the 22nd minute to the delight of a capacity crowd.

Former Miami player Bryce Duke slipped the ball between the legs of Drake Callender after clever work from Jules-Anthony Vilsaint down the left.

Montreal thought they should have had a penalty when Mathieu Choiniere went down under a challenge from Marcelo Weigandt but referee Drew Fischer waved away the appeals.

Montreal had enjoyed an upset win in Florida against a weakened Miami team in March and another surprise looked on the cards when they went 2-0 up in the 32nd.

Vilsaint collected Ariel Lassiter's sharp pull back from the left and showed great poise as he picked his spot with a side-foot finish into the far corner.

Lionel Messi briefly left the field for attention after a heavy challenge and while the Argentine was on the sidelines, his team won a free-kick in the area -- where the World Cup winner can be so deadly.

In the absence of the eight-times Ballon d'Or winner, Paraguayan Matias Rojas took the free-kick and delivered a finish worthy of his captain, curling the ball over the wall and into the corner.

On the stroke of half-time, Miami drew level when Julian Gressel whipped in a low corner and Suarez bundled the ball home from close range for his 11th league goal of the season.

Miami looked a different team and it was no surprise when they got the winner in the 59th minute, the impressive Rojas clipping the ball over a pushed up Montreal defence and Benjamin Cremaschi latched on to the pass before poking home.

Montreal produced some late pressure but Miami held firm as they secured their eighth win in 13 games.

Inter coach Gerardo Martino said he had taken the wrong approach to the match.

"I shouldn't change the way the team plays, we didn't feel comfortable, today I tried to change it because of the strengths the opponent and in the minutes I tried to do it we were losing 2-0," he said.

Crew defeated

MLS champions Columbus Crew suffered a 2-1 defeat in the Ohio derby at home to FC Cincinnati, who avenged their loss to their in-state rivals in last year's Eastern Conference final.

Cincy, second in the East, went ahead in the 74th minute when MLS Most Valuable Player Luciano Acosta got to the byline and chipped a cross to the back post which was headed in by Kevin Kelsy.

Two minutes later, Acosta doubled the advantage, picking up a smart ball from Pavel Bucha and showing his smart footwork before slotting home.

Maximilian Arfsten pulled a goal back for Columbus in the 89th minute but it was too late for a comeback from Wilfried Nancy's side.

Belgian international Christian Benteke scored a hat-trick of headers as D.C. United won 3-2 at Atlanta, including a 55th minute bullet from a corner to win the contest.

Colombian Luis Muriel scored twice for Orlando City as they pulled off an impressive 3-2 win at the Philadelphia Union.

Muriel, the former Atalanta winger fired Orlando in a 2-1 lead in the 42nd minute with a stunning long-distance strike after cutting in from the right.

He added a second just after the break, with a calm finish after he was put through on goal by Nicolas Lodeiro and although Daniel Gazdag got one back for Philadelphia from the spot, Orlando took the three points.

Brazilian Joao Klauss scored a brace for St.Louis in their 3-1 derby win over the Chicago Fire, while in the Texas derby, Dallas beat Austin 2-1.

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