Date: September 25, 2023
MIAMI, FL – In a highly anticipated Major League Soccer (MLS) matchup, soccer superstar Lionel Messi was notably absent from the pitch as Inter Miami CF held Orlando City SC to a thrilling 2-2 draw on Sunday evening at DRV PNK Stadium.
Messi, who made a much-heralded transfer to Inter Miami from Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) earlier this year, was sidelined due to a minor injury, disappointing fans who were eager to see the Argentine legend in action. Despite his absence, the match did not disappoint, as both teams put on an electrifying display of soccer prowess.
The first half saw Orlando City take the lead with a goal from forward Nani in the 18th minute. The visitors’ lead was short-lived, as Inter Miami answered back just six minutes later with a goal by their Colombian striker, Rodolfo Pizarro.
The action continued in the second half, with Orlando City regaining the lead in the 56th minute thanks to a penalty kick converted by Chris Mueller. However, Inter Miami was not to be outdone and managed to level the score once again, with Lewis Morgan scoring in the 68th minute.
Both teams pushed hard for a late winner, but solid defensive play and impressive saves from both goalkeepers ensured that the match ended in a 2-2 draw.
Despite Messi’s absence, fans were treated to an exhilarating display of soccer talent from both sides, with players like Nani, Rodolfo Pizarro, and Chris Mueller stepping up to deliver memorable performances.
Inter Miami’s head coach, Phil Neville, acknowledged the challenge of playing without their star player but praised his team’s resilience, saying, “Lionel is an incredible talent, and of course, we missed him out there tonight. However, the team showed great character and fought hard to earn this draw. It’s a testament to the depth and quality of our squad.”
Orlando City’s coach, Oscar Pareja, also had words of praise for the match, stating, “It was a highly competitive game, and both teams had their moments. We respect Inter Miami, and it’s always a challenging match against them.”
The draw leaves Inter Miami CF in the playoff race, while Orlando City SC continues to strive for a top spot in the Eastern Conference. Soccer enthusiasts can look forward to Messi’s return to the field as soon as he recovers from his injury, with expectations running high for his future performances in the MLS.