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Lionel Messi sits out as Miami drops CCC 1st leg to Monterrey



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Lionel Messi regarded on from the sidelines as Inter Miami CF misplaced 2-1 to Monterrey within the first leg of the groups’ Concacaf Champions Cup quarterfinal on Wednesday at Chase Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Jorge Rodriguez netted a stellar objective late within the recreation to offer Monterrey the win on the night time, as Messi was seated at discipline degree supporting his teammates of their quest for a second trophy since his arrival in the summertime of 2023.

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Messi has been coping with a proper hamstring challenge for almost a month, and although he skilled with the remainder of the squad on Tuesday, Miami head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino advised media forward of the match that he would not threat additional damage to his star participant.

After the match, Martino reiterated the workforce’s stance on Messi: “Like we mentioned, he is recreation to recreation. This wasn’t the sport he wasn’t prepared. That is how we’ll method the match towards Colorado [on Saturday] and the second leg towards Monterrey.

“Day by day he feels higher, however at present felt like too excessive a threat.”

Messi’s former Barcelona teammates Luis Suárez, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba began for Miami towards a Monterrey facet that’s second within the Liga MX Clausura. It beat MLS facet FC Cincinnati 3-1 on combination to succeed in the quarters.

Tomás Avilés opened the scoring for the house facet within the first half from a nook kick, however Monterrey struck again by way of Maximiliano Meza minutes after Miami’s David Ruiz was despatched off within the sixty fifth minute along with his second yellow card of the night time.

With Miami attempting to carry on for the draw down a person, Rodriguez blasted a shot from outdoors the field previous Drake Callender to offer his workforce the win and one other away objective forward of the second leg on April 10 in Mexico, through which Miami will likely be determined for its star participant to be obtainable.

“At present, given the state of affairs and the rival we had in entrance of us, realizing Monterrey had a full squad whereas we had vital absences, I favored the best way we competed,” Martino added. “We did nicely. If I evaluate the bits of the sport that I’ve in my head, we did not endure from goal-scoring conditions. The set piece-play that led to the equalizer was unlucky for us, then the 2-1 objective from the midfield is a product of the hierarchy that the rival has.

“However actually, we competed nicely and that is what I feel is vital and engaging for the workforce.

Monterrey head coach Fernando Ortiz mentioned he had blended emotions about Messi being held out of the sport: “I like Leo, sportingly. I maintain watching and maintain admiring. I wish to play towards him, however I would like my workforce to win.”

Messi final performed on March 13, making a 50-minute look for Miami towards Nashville SC within the second leg of the Champions Cup spherical of 16. Regardless of the early substitution, the Miami star contributed to the 3-1 victory with a objective and an help.

“We performed towards Nashville [in the round of 16],” Martino mentioned. “However when one will get [into] to the later rounds and begins enjoying vital video games towards the most effective groups of the continent, it is a lesson for the membership. The youthful gamers and in that state of affairs, we matched the extent of the sport.

“I can’t discover factors the place I can say the workforce suffered for a particular cause. Perhaps at sure factors we went again particularly within the second half, however I believed we had been organized, we minimize away and went nicely to the areas. I haven’t got something significantly vital to level out as unfavorable.”

General, Messi has scored 5 targets and added two assists in 5 matches throughout all competitions for Miami this season earlier than getting injured. He additionally missed each of Argentina’s friendlies within the final worldwide window because of the damage.

The MLS facet bypassed the preliminary spherical of the Champions Cup by profitable the inaugural version of Leagues Cup in 2023, earlier than beating Nashville within the spherical of 16 to advance to the quarterfinals.

The subsequent match for Messi and Miami is an MLS residence recreation towards the Colorado Rapids on Saturday. It’s unknown presently whether or not he will likely be obtainable for that recreation.