No messi, no problem! Inter Miami beat Sporting Kansas City 3-2 to keep their playoff hopes alive as the captain bounces back from Argentina’s World Cup qualifier win over Ecuador.
Inter Miami was without Lionel Messi on Saturday night in Fort Lauderdale, but the Herons managed to keep their MLS playoff hopes alive with a 3-2 win over Sporting Kansas City.
Miami — without Messi and seven others due to national team duty — still went 3-0-1 in its past four MLS contests and is undefeated in 12 straight in all competitions.
Kansas City saw its two-game winning streak end and allowed three goals in MLS competition for the first time since May 20.
KC’s Daniel Salloy was in the right place at the right time to give the visitors a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute.
Miami goalkeeper Drake Kalender raised his hands to block Filipe Gutierrez’s long-range shot, but was unable to grab the rebound and was beaten by Sallo on the edge of the six-yard box.
Inter Miami’s Facundo Farias (11) celebrates scoring against Sporting Kansas City.
However, Leonardo Campana converted a penalty kick to equalize for Miami in the 25th minute, hitting the outstretched arm of goalkeeper Tim Melia.
Kampana’s second of the game in the 45th minute gave the home side a 2-1 lead. After losing control of the ball in the box, DeAndre Yedlin recovered it low to the right and Campana headed a cross past Melia.
Miami took advantage of Kansas City’s quick restart after a stoppage to extend their lead to 3-1 in the 60th minute.
When defender Andrew Fontas tried to argue a handball against Miami, Sergio Busquets picked up the ball for a free kick and sent a long pass to Facundo Farias, who drove unmarked down the right side before firing past Melia.
Alan Pulido made it 3-2 in the 78th minute when he fired a high into the box into the far corner.
Tim Leibold’s shot from inside the box in the 85th minute was blocked by Miami defender Kamal Miller and deflected wide.
The first matchup between the clubs was a sweet one for the Herons as they kept in touch with the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Messi controls the ball during the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifier against Ecuador
Lionel Messi waved to fans as he was seen leaving a medical center in Argentina on Saturday
Messi, who played for Argentina in Thursday’s 1-0 win over Ecuador, scored a stunning free-kick to seal the win, but could have suffered a minor injury.
He was substituted in the 89th minute and later confirmed by coach Lionel Scaloni that he had 'felt something’ and asked to be taken off.
Messi underwent precautionary medical tests and left the IMAXE medical center on Saturday, while hundreds of fans clamored to see him outside the facilities.
The Inter Miami man smiled and waved to fans and did not appear to be limping, but his presence in the medical center will cause concern for fans of his club and country.
Inter Miami is still in the playoff race and has six points out of nine seeds in the East.
Inter Miami is second-to-last in the East, but only eight points behind DC United, who occupy the last playoff spot as we speak.
Miami sits on 28 points from 26 games, while ninth-placed DC has 34 points from 28 matches.
With 27 games played, CF Montreal sit a point above Wayne Rooney’s side.
„Całkowity introwertyk. Nieprzejednany specjalista od sieci. Przyjazny fanatyk bekonu. Student ekstremalnych. Miłośnik piwa. Organizator.”