With a victory that strengthens its playoff chances, Inter Miami beat Toronto FC 4-0 this Wednesday, although Lionel Messi was substituted in the first half due to physical problems, making participation in the US final uncertain. Open Cup.
The Argentine star, who returned after a two-week absence, left the pitch in the 37th minute, just two after Spanish full-back Jordi Alba was also substituted.
Coach Gerardo Martino, who sidelined both last week due to muscle fatigue, confirmed that they will miss the next league game against Orlando City, led by Antioquia coach Óscar Pareja, and does not know whether they will be recovered for the September 27 final of the US Open Cup, which, despite being a small tournament in the United States, is a top priority for the franchise.
“We have to keep going day by day, I know we have a final but they won’t take the field if they are not fit,” ‘Tata’ told the press.
“Of course there is no chance that they will be there on Sunday against Orlando,” said Martino, who, in the absence of medical examinations, assumes that both continue to suffer from the same ailments.
“It’s fatigue, I don’t think it’s a muscle injury,” said Martino, who pointed out that Messi has problems with a “scar from an old injury that bothers him.”
The Argentine “Diez”, who had two good chances to score, requested substitution without having suffered a blow when the scoreboard at the DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale (outside Miami) showed a goalless draw.
At 36 and without a preseason, Messi has played 12 games for Inter since his debut on July 21, a hectic period in which he presided over the win of the League Cup, the joint tournament with the Mexican League.
Concerns about Messi’s physical condition led to him watching Argentina’s win in Bolivia from the bench last week and not being selected for Inter’s game in Atlanta.
Wednesday’s win saw Inter move up one place to thirteenth in the Eastern Conference with 31 points, five points behind DC United, led by Wayne Rooney, who currently hold the final ticket to the playoffs.
Toronto FC, last classified in the East, caused dangerous action at the start of the game through its Italian players Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi.
But the Canadian team did not know how to take advantage of the departure of Messi and Alba, and in the 45th minute +3 they gave Inter the first goal, with an erroneous release by the Salvadoran national goalkeeper Tomás Romero, who turned the volley on a goal let plate into the net of the young Argentinian Facundo Farias.
The Finn Robert Taylor, who came on for Messi, extended the lead in the 54th minute with a brilliant individual action and the young Argentine Benjamin Cremaschi made it 3-0 with a counterattack in the 73rd minute.
The Italian Insigne almost scored the winner with a shot against the post, but it was Taylor who celebrated again after a brilliant assist from Farías in the 87th minute and made it 4-0.