Messi was on national duty with Argentina while the match was played on Saturday evening. Inter Miami also had eight key players away on international duty, including striker Josef Martinez (Venezuela), midfielder Robert Taylor (Finland) and 18-year-old standout Benjamin Cremaschi (USA).
The match started with Sporting KC displaying a dominant performance, with Dániel Salloi scoring the opening goal within the first ten minutes off a rebound shot that goalkeeper Drake Callender failed to stop. Despite Alan Pulido’s efforts to lead a Sporting KC comeback with a second-half goal, it proved insufficient to secure a victory.
Leo Campana played exceptionally well throughout the game and stepped up in Messi’s absence, scoring two out of Miami’s three goals. In the 60th minute, Facundo Farias scored a goal to secure Miami’s victory over Sporting KC.
Following the victory over Sporting KC, Inter Miami have now extended its unbeaten streak to 12 games and have also gained ground in its late-season playoff push.
Speaking after the match, Campana said in Spanish;
“Like I said on Friday, Leo’s absence was going to be felt. But he has instilled so much confidence among the players. We believe now and know what we are capable of. Very happy with the result and the three points.”
Messi scored the winning goal in Argentina’s 1-0 victory over Ecuador on Thursday, September 7, and has another national team commitment against Bolivia on Tuesday, September 12.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is scheduled to return to Miami for its next league match at Atlanta FC next Saturday. A win will further their push towards the postseason.
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