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Inter Miami Triumphs 2-1 Over Columbus Crew Despite Missing Messi and Suárez

Inter Miami Triumphs 2-1 Over Columbus Crew Despite Missing Messi and Suárez

Inter Miami secured a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Crew on Wednesday night, despite missing key players Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez due to international duty at the Copa América. The match, held at Chase Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, saw early goals from Ian Fray and Leonardo Campana that set the tone for Miami’s win.

Ian Fray, in his first match since an ACL injury in July 2023, scored in the 10th minute with a header from Julian Gressel’s corner kick. Campana doubled the lead in the 21st minute, finishing a rebound after his initial header was saved. Juan Camilo ‘Cucho’ Hernández pulled one back for Columbus in the 40th minute, scoring from an Aidan Morris cross.

Inter Miami coach Tata Martino switched to a 5-4-1 formation to strengthen the defense, making key changes due to the absence of several regular starters. Notably, Sergio Busquets played as a sweeper instead of his usual midfield role. The team focused on a defensive and counter-attacking strategy, maintaining only 32% possession but effectively managing the game.

Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender made a crucial save in the 79th minute, denying Hernández a potential equalizer. Beyond his goal, Fray’s return was significant, overcoming multiple ACL injuries to contribute decisively to the team’s effort.

Inter Miami remains at the top of the Eastern Conference with a 12-5-3 record. They will next face Nashville SC on June 29. Messi, meanwhile, will be playing for Argentina against Peru in a Copa America match on the same day.

This win marks Inter Miami’s second consecutive victory, following a similar 2-1 triumph against the Philadelphia Union, showcasing their resilience and depth even without their star players.

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