CONCACAF Champions Cup: Monterrey edge Lionel Messi-less Miami

    The Hawk
    April4/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Inter Miami faces a challenging setback in the CONCACAF Champions Cup quarterfinals without Messi, ending the first leg a goal down to Monterrey despite an early lead.

    Lionel Messi

    Inter Miami, playing without Lionel Messi, went a man down and then finished a goal down after the first leg of a CONCACAF Champions Cup quarterfinal series on Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

    After getting an 89th-minute winner from Jorge Rodriguez, Monterrey take a 2-1 lead into the second and final leg of the total-goal series on April 10 in Guadalupe, Mexico.

    Messi was ruled out pregame due to a hamstring injury that has sidelined him since mid-March.

    Even without the superstar, Miami went up 1-0 on a 19th-minute goal from Tomas Aviles.

    The Herons were still on top when they lost midfielder David Ruiz to a second yellow card in the 65th minute. Monterrey pulled level four minutes later on a goal from Maximiliano Meza, then jumped on top in the waning minutes.

    The decisive tally was set up by an Inter Miami giveaway at the edge of the penalty area. Meza laid the ball off to Rodriguez, who set the ball up with his first touch, then fired a 20-yard, right-footed shot into the far top corner.