Monday June 24, 2024

Without Lionel Messi, Miami draw with Orlando City

By Reuters
May 17, 2024
Inter Miami star Lionel Messi misses clash with Orlando City amid knee injury. — Reuters/Files
Inter Miami star Lionel Messi misses clash with Orlando City amid knee injury. — Reuters/Files

ORLANDO: Drake Callender made three saves and Inter Miami managed a 0-0 draw with host Orlando City despite not having Lionel Messi available on Wednesday night.

Messi did not make the trip as he nurses a leg injury suffered Saturday in the team’s win at CF Montreal. Miami (8-2-4, 28 points) had a five-match winning streak come to an end but extended its unbeaten run in MLS play to eight in a row (5-0-3). It marked just the second time this regular season that the Herons were held scoreless.

Pedro Gallese saved three shots for Orlando City (3-5-4, 13 points). Despite Miami controlling nearly 59 percent of the possession, Orlando had a 14-6 advantage in shot attempts and an 8-4 edge in corner kicks -- but could not come through with a goal. Miami came up wanting on a pair of great looks in the first 10 minutes by Luis Suarez and Robert Taylor. Orlando then got close to scoring off two corner kicks.

Callender deflected Martin Ojeda’s attempt from close range in the 32nd minute and made a leaping save on Luis Muriel one minute later. Orlando tested Callender again early in the second half, but he stopped David Brekalo’s header in the 52nd minute.

A while later, Gallese bumped into Suarez in the air and stayed down for a few minutes, but after receiving treatment he remained in the match. Orlando’s Cesar Araujo gave a poor foul in the 72nd minute, knocking Julian Gressel to the ground, and received his fifth yellow card of the season, meaning he will serve a suspension for the team’s next match Saturday at San Jose.

The closest call of the second half came in the 76th. Lodeiro and McGuire passed up ahead for a streaking Facundo Torres. As his defender closed in, Torres sent a cross to the right for Muriel, but more Miami defenders caught up in time to prevent him from getting an open shot off.