No Messi, no problem: Inter Miami downs slumping Vancouver Whitecaps

Ryan Gauld reduce Vancouver’s deficit to 2-1 within the 72nd minute.

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Lacking soccer icon Lionel Messi wasn’t a problem for Inter Miami on Saturday.

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Even with out the World Cup-winning celebrity, Miami (10-4-2) cruised to a 2-1 victory over the slumping Whitecaps (5-5-4) in Vancouver.

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Followers had been outraged earlier within the week to listen to Miami wasn’t bringing Messi to play in B.C. due to the membership’s congested Main League Soccer schedule. The group additionally left Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez and Spanish midfielder Sergio Busquets in Florida.

“We now have come with out our greatest gamers. … And even then we now have competed very nicely,” Miami’s head coach, Gerardo (Tata) Martino, stated via an interpreter.

“That may be a very invaluable factor, in fact. If we had misplaced, even when we had competed in addition to we did tonight, we’d not be as glad as we are actually. I believe this can be a huge prize for these gamers for the trouble that they’ve completed.”

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Inter Miami’s Robert Taylor, proper, and Matias Rojas have a good time Taylor’s purpose in opposition to the Vancouver Whitecaps through the first half of an MLS soccer match, in Vancouver, on Saturday, Could 25, 2024. Photograph by DARRYL DYCK THE CANADIAN PRESS /THE CANADIAN PRESS

Pink No. 10 Messi jerseys nonetheless dotted the introduced crowd of 51,035 and chants of “The place is Messi?” broke out within the recreation’s early minutes.

Saturday’s outcome stretched Vancouver’s winless skid to 6 video games (0-3-3) in MLS play whereas Miami’s unbeaten streak grew to 10 straight outings (7-0-3).

“(Main League Soccer) is like this. Each group goes via this sort of interval through the season,” Whitecaps head coach Vanni Sartini stated after the loss.

“So it’s too straightforward to indicate that we’re a compact group when every thing goes nicely. We have to present it now. And so we’re aware of the truth that we have to do higher, but in addition we’re aware of the truth that we are able to do higher. So we’ll go from there.”

Robert Taylor scored and contributed an help, whereas Leo Campana additionally discovered the again of the web for Miami (10-4-2).

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Ryan Gauld replied for the ’Caps (5-5-4), changing a penalty kick within the 72nd minute.

Miami’s Drake Callender made one save and Yohei Takaoka stopped 4 on-target pictures for Vancouver.

The ’Caps began off with an aggressive offence, and got here tantalizingly near opening the scoring within the eighth minute. Gauld despatched a cross to Fafa Picault on the far submit and the striker headed it down, solely to see his shot blocked by Marcelo Weigandt.

Ali Ahmed #22 of the Vancouver Whitecaps and Robert Taylor #16 of Inter Miami CF battle for the ball through the first half of their MLS match at BC Place on Could 25, 2024 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Photograph by Jeff Vinnick /Getty Pictures

Miami peppered Takaoka with pictures throughout the primary half and at last beat the Japanese keeper within the thirty eighth minute.

Jordi Alba despatched a ball to Taylor, who received round Vancouver defender Mathias Laborda contained in the penalty space, then blasted a right-footed shot previous Takaoka to place Miami up 1-0.

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Vancouver didn’t register a shot on course via the primary half, whereas the guests logged 5.

The Whitecaps have struggled to search out the again of the web not too long ago, scoring simply two objectives of their final 4 MLS video games. The membership had 14 objectives throughout their first six video games of the season.

“I believe that we’re nonetheless doing the identical issues we had been doing earlier on within the yr, attending to the appropriate spots and creating probabilities. Nevertheless it simply appears like we’re getting a little bit unfortunate,” stated midfielder Ali Ahmed. “We now have to be higher and maintain ourselves accountable.”

Taylor troubled the ’Caps as soon as once more within the 54th minute, dancing round Laborda earlier than dishing the ball off to Campana on the prime of the six-yard field. Campana then tapped a shot in to offer Miami a 2-0 lead within the 54th minute.

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A video evaluate within the 69th minute gave Vancouver life.

Tomas Aviles bodychecked Picault contained in the penalty space and, whereas the foul wasn’t initially known as, the play was double-checked by the video assistant referee and a penalty was awarded.

Gauld stepped as much as take the kick and despatched a right-footed shot previous a diving Callendar, chopping Vancouver’s deficit to 2-1 within the 72nd minute.

Vancouver Whitecaps’ Brian White, left, and Inter Miami’s Serhiy Kryvtsov vie for the ball through the first half of an MLS soccer match, in Vancouver, on Saturday, Could 25, 2024. Photograph by DARRYL DYCK THE CANADIAN PRESS /THE CANADIAN PRESS

The house aspect continued to press within the remaining minutes, however couldn’t discover the equalizer.

“I believe it’s loads a matter of confidence in the mean time,” Sartini stated. “So we have to reinstate the boldness and attempt to get factors instantly as a result of it’s too straightforward now to be with the top down however we should be with the top up and attempt to go full velocity in (our subsequent recreation).”

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The Whitecaps return to motion Wednesday once they tackle Sporting Kansas Metropolis on the highway. Miami will host Atlanta United the identical evening.

NOTES: After the announcement Messi wouldn’t come to Vancouver, the Whitecaps provided everybody at Saturday’s recreation a free ticket to a different regular-season recreation in 2024. … Saturday marked the first-ever MLS recreation between Vancouver and Inter Miami. … Miami midfielder Julian Gressel made his return to B.C. Place. The 30-year-old made 38 appearances throughout all competitions for Vancouver between 2022 and 2023, placing up seven objectives and 9 assists.

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