Lionel Messi Stays Out as Inter Miami Draws with Orlando City

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Lionel Messi

Orlando City’s home match with Inter Miami resulted in a 1-1 tie on Sunday night, thanks to Duncan McGuire’s eleventh goal of the season.

Despite a midweek loss to New York City FC, Orlando remained unbeaten in five home games versus Miami.

David Ruiz scored Inter Miami’s first goal, but McGuire scored an equalizer to cancel it out. Lionel Messi, Jordi Alba, and Sergio Busquets were not present for the Inter Miami game.

Messi and Alba missed due to scar tissue and muscle soreness, respectively. Busquets, Barcelona’s third former partner, rested before Wednesday’s home U.S. Open Cup final versus Houston Dynamo.

Due to absences, Orlando’s (14-7-9, 51 points) output was less dominant than expected despite leading in shots (13) and shots on goal (6-3).

With two games left, Miami is 14th in the Eastern Conference, five points behind New York City FC for the final playoff position. Dolphins have 9-15-5 record in 32 games.

The Herons trail NYCFC (37 points) and D.C. United (10th, 36 points) by two games in the league statistics and hope Messi and Alba are fit for the final run.

After Orlando had the best of the first half, Miami seized the lead early in the second on an attack that started with Dixon Arroyo’s interception in midfield and a through ball to Leonardo Campana.

Josef Martinez, who received a pass from Campana and took a shot from the left side of the penalty area, was denied by a diving save by goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.

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Ruiz raced to the loose ball and buried a finish past Gallese into an empty net.

Dagur Thorhallsson, Martin Ojeda, and Wilder Cartagena all contributed to McGuire’s equalizer, which followed a giveaway in the middle of the field.

Finally, McGuire was able to finish off Ojeda’s pass, which was slightly deflected by a Miami defender, by slotting the ball low between Drake Callender’s legs.