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After red card, Messi-less Inter Miami cough up lead, lose to Monterrey in CONCACAF quarterfinal

By ALANIS THAMES (AP Sports Writer)

FORT LAUDERDALE — Jorge Rodríguez scored the go-ahead goal in the 89th minute as Mexico’s Monterrey rallied past Inter Miami for a 2-1 win Wednesday night in the CONCACAF Champions Cup quarterfinal.

Inter Miami played the match without Lionel Messi, who was sidelined for a fourth straight game as he deals with a right hamstring injury.

Messi has not played since March 13 and also missed Argentina’s exhibitions last month against El Salvador and Costa Rica.

It isn’t yet clear when the 36-year-old Messi will return. The teams are scheduled to play the second leg of the quarterfinal in Mexico on April 10. Inter Miami will also play an MLS match against Colorado on Saturday.

Rodríguez broke a 1-1 tie Wednesday when he sent a shot into the top right corner past Miami’s Drake Callender for his first goal of the season, spoiling a strong first half from Inter Miami.

Tomas Avilés tapped in Miami’s only goal off a corner kick by Julian Gressel in the 19th minute. It was the 19-year-old Avilés’ first goal of the season and came during a stout first-half defensive effort that held Monterrey at bay.

But as Monterrey made adjustments in the second half, Inter Miami came unraveled.

Miami played the final 25 minutes of the match down a man after David Ruíz received a second yellow card and was sent off for unnecessary contact in the 65th minute.

Monterrey quickly took advantage, tying the score less than five minutes later on a goal from Maximiliano Meza, who shot past Callender on a second attempt after a corner kick by Sergio Canales.

Callender had seven saves, while Monterrey’s Esteban Andrada had one.


AP MLS: https://apnews.com/hub/major-league-soccer

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