Lionel MessiInter Miami moved six points away from the MLS playoff spots with a 3-2 win over Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.
Messi was one of eight Inter Miami players to report for international duty, but Gerardo “Tata” Martino’s side showed their strength in depth as they extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 12 matches.
As Miami seeks to rise from its position ahead of Messi at the bottom of the Eastern Conference to the top nine, the team realizes that it does not have much room for error, but its night started poorly.
A goal keeper Drake Callender He failed to hold on to a shot from Felipe Gutierrez and Daniel Saloi slotted the loose ball into the net.
Miami equalized in the 25th minute through Leonardo Campana from a penalty kick after the Ecuadorian striker dropped the ball by the Kansas City goalkeeper. Tim Melia While challenging them to get a high ball.
Unlike Messi, Campana was not called up for this week’s World Cup qualifiers for South America and proved decisive when he put the hosts 2-1 ahead with a stunning header from a cross from DeAndre Yedlin on the stroke of halftime.
Campana came close to scoring a hat-trick in the second half with a deft touch towards goal from low Jordi Alba Cross but Melia ducks well to save.
Melia were working to deny Nicola Stefanelli the opportunity to play after more good work from Alba, who recently retired from service with the Spanish national team.
Another former Spanish midfielder in Miami Sergio BusquetsHe created the third goal when he showed great awareness by taking a quick free kick on the halfway line and passing Argentine striker Facundo Farias.
Farias, one of three young South American players brought in to add some energy and talent to accompany the team’s veteran stars, showed great composure as he raced towards goal and beat Melia with a perfectly placed shot.
But with 12 minutes remaining, Sporting succeeded in reducing the deficit by a goal Alan PulidoHis 13th MLS goal of the season, as the Mexican volleyed home a loose ball and then beat Callender with a decisive finish.
The visitors enjoyed plenty of pressure in the closing stages, including seven minutes of stoppage time when a tired Miami side held on.
but with DC United Drawing 0-0 at home against San Jose, Miami is now just six points behind Wayne Rooney’s team, which is ninth in the East and has two games in hand.
League champion Los Angeles FC suffered its third defeat in a row, losing 2-0 at home Portland Timbers Who are also looking to make a late push in the playoffs.
After defeats to Charlotte and Miami, Los Angeles fell behind when goalkeeper John McCarthy took a corner kick, allowing… Laris Mabiala To take advantage of the close distance.
Claudio Bravo He then made it 2-0 in the 53rd minute as the Argentine full-back began exchanging quick passes before rushing into the penalty area and shooting the ball into the net.
The win raises the Timbers to 11th place, just one point away from the playoff places with six games remaining in their season.
in the East, Minnesota United He equalized in stoppage time Franco Fragapane Earning a 1-1 draw at home against second-placed New England.
Carles GilExcellent first-time finish from a low cross from his fellow Spaniard Nacho Gil To give Al-Thawra the lead in the 38th minute.
But with time running out, Minnesota won on a corner and a goalie Dane St. Clair He stepped up for the free-kick, and passed the ball to Fragapane to score a dramatic equaliser.
After the game, New England announced that their coach and sporting director Bruce Arena had resigned following an MLS investigation into what the league called “insensitive and inappropriate statements.”
Arena, 71, was placed on administrative leave after the investigation began on July 30.
The club said that former Arena assistant Richie Williams will continue in his position as interim coach of the team.