Thursday , April 18 2024
Inter Miami

No Messi on game roster for Inter Miami vs. Monterrey in Champions Cup quarterfinal.

In the hours before kickoff, the rumors began on social media. Lionel Messi, who had earmarked Wednesday’s clash with Monterrey as a potential return date, was out. Inter Miami’s squad announcement 60 minutes before kickoff confirmed it, too.

The Herons nearly survived without him. In the end, though, Messi’s absence was felt as the South Beach MLS club threw away the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions Cup tie against Monterrey.

Playing at home, Inter Miami fell 2-1 with a David Ruiz dismissal led to their undoing. Up 1-0 thanks to a Tomas Aviles goal, Ruiz’s 65th minute sending-off was the turning point, the opening Monterrey needed to wake them up a bit.

Just four minutes after being reduced to 10-men, Monterrey were level. Maxi Meza was the scorer, pouncing on the ball in the box to even the score at 1-1.

From there, there was little doubt about how this would end. Miami had to survive the incoming tidal wave, but they couldn’t quite do it. Jorge Rodriguez’s 88th minute curled finish from range earned Monterrey a win, and a 2-1 advantage heading back for the second leg.

Will Messi play in that one? We’ll find out soon enough, but Wednesday was a catastrophic turn of events heading into leg two.

GOAL rates Inter Miami’s players from Chase Stadium…

Goalkeeper & Defence

Drake Callender (7/10):

Not much he could have done to prevent the goals. Had a few good stops to keep Miami in it as he finished on seven saves.

Jordi Alba (6/10):

Did a good job defensively and had his typically good performance going forward. Didn’t change the game, but didn’t lose it, either.

Tomas Aviles (7/10):

A much-needed goal for a defender who has had some tough moments this season. Aviles had a solid performance even outside of the finish, arguably his best of the season so far.

Nicolas Freire (6/10):

Nearly as solid as Aviles. This team looks much better with him in the XI.

Marcelo Weigandt (6/10):

Another good game from the new signing. You can see the vision with him as this team’s right-back.

Midfield

Sergio Busquets (6/10):

Unfortunate to see the ball bounce off him leading to Meza’s goal. Other than that, a typically steady performance.

Diego Gomez (5/10):

Had plenty of energy and had a few bright moments. Went 0/7 on duels and had a bad touch that helped lead to the Monterrey winner.

David Ruiz (4/10):

Was sent off for two needless yellow cards. You simply cannot do that in a game of this caliber, and it will be a big turning point for growth in his young career.

Attack

Robert Taylor (N/A):

Suffered an early injury. Miami really can’t afford to lose anyone else right now, so the Herons will have to hope it isn’t too bad.

Luis Suarez (6/10):

Didn’t really get going. Had two shots, neither on target, and just two touches in the opposing box. Monterrey did a good job with him, despite all of his effort and energy.

Julian Gressel (7/10):

A playmaking machine. Played another spectacular ball on Aviles’ goal, adding yet another set-piece assist to his collection this season.

Subs & Manager

Leo Alfonso (6/10):

Put into the game in the 37th minute to replace Taylor, but taken right back out in the 67th due to Ruiz’s dismissal. Unlucky for the newly-signed attacker.

Ryan Sailor (6/10):

Thrown in to help Miami survive after Ruiz’s exit. Did just that from his spot in defense.

Tata Martino (6/10):

Can’t fault him for the team going down to 10 and, by and large, his team handled it well. Prior to Ruiz’s exit, it felt like Miami was doing just fine even without Messi, which was a testament to their coach. Baffled as to why he didn’t make more subs, though.

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