Inter Miami loses 4-1 to Chicago Fire with Lionel Messi sidelined. The 36-year-old Argentine superstar had been dealing with a scar tissue ailment, a recurring issue that has bothered him since his World Cup qualifying efforts. On the eve of the game, he conducted an independent workout, as listed on Inter Miami’s injury report.
The Chicago Fire, in an exceptional performance, secured a 4-1 victory in a match that saw a record 61,000 tickets sold at Soldier Field. In light of Messi’s anticipated absence, the club made accommodations for fans, offering prospective season-ticket holders a $250 credit toward the next season and single-game spectators a $50 credit if they opted not to attend.
Chicago’s head coach, Frank Koppas, acknowledged the disappointment surrounding Messi’s absence but commended his team’s impressive display, stating, ‘Many people were here to see Messi, and who doesn’t want to see him. But they saw a good performance from our team tonight.’
Lionel Messi, who has scored 11 goals in 12 matches with Inter Miami, significantly influences the team’s performance. The club has an undefeated record of 8-0-4 when he is on the field, with his presence instrumental in their journey to winning the Leagues Cup championship and reaching the U.S. Open Cup semifinal. In contrast, Inter Miami has struggled with a 1-2-2 record in the five matches without Messi since his arrival.
Miami’s head coach, Gerardo Martino, expressed the impact of Messi’s absence, stating, ‘Barcelona missed him, and the Argentine team missed him. Of course, we’re going to miss the best player in the world.’ However, Martino did not provide a specific timeline for Messi’s return.
The match saw Xherdan Shaqiri and Maren Haile-Selassie shine with two goals each for the Chicago Fire, while Josef Martinez managed to score for Miami on a penalty kick. As the season progresses, Inter Miami faces the challenge of accumulating 33 points with only three games remaining, as they aim to overcome a five-point deficit and secure a playoff berth, with four other teams also in contention
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