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 Inter Miami CF

Inter Miami CF Secures Draw at Home Against the Colorado Rapids

April 6, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Inter Miami CF News Release

MIAMI - Inter Miami CF (3V-2L-3D, 12 points) secured a 2-2 draw with the Colorado Rapids tonight at Chase Stadium in the first-ever meeting between the sides. Captain Lionel Messi returned and scored the team's first goal on the night, while Academy product and MLS SuperDraft pick Leo Afonso also scored to register his first goal for the Club's First Team, in what was his first start for the team. Defenders Franco Negri and David Ruiz registered their first assists of the season in the matchup as well, with Negri playing his first match for the team since an injury sidelined him in June 2023.

"I think we keep committing errors that cause us to leave points on the board...It's typical of not having a reading of the match, of the moment, of being out of position and it surely costs us," said head coach Gerardo 'Tata' Martino.

Inter Miami started the match with seven changes to the team's starting XI from the midweek Concacaf Champions Cup quarterfinals first leg. Drake Callender started in goal; David Ruiz, Ryan Sailor, Noah Allen and Franco Negri made a back line of four; Julian Gressel; Tomás Avilés and Lawson Sunderland started in midfield; Shanyder Borgelin and Afonso flanked striker Leonardo Campana in attack.

Recently signed Academy product Afonso registered his first start for the Inter Miami First Team tonight, while left back Negri and attacker Borgelin started for the first time this regular season. Additionally, midfielder Benjamin Cremaschi featured in a matchday squad for the first time in 2024 after recovering from surgery carried out in January to repair a sports hernia.

The first 45 minutes presented an even matchup with both sides defending stoutly. Inter Miami's most dangerous opportunities in attack throughout the half came through attempts from Avilés and Gressel. First, in the 17th minute, Afonso delivered a low cross into the center of the box after a great run on the right wing, with Avilés' subsequent attempt going above the bar. Then, a long-range attempt from Gressel in the 35th minute went just wide of the left post.

It was the visitors, however, that would open the scoring before the half. The Colorado Rapids scored through a penalty taken by forward Rafael Navarro in the 45th minute and the match went into the break with a 0-1 scoreline.

Inter Miami then made a substitution at the half looking to create more danger in attack in the second half, with captain Messi coming onto the pitch in place of Sunderland to mark his return from injury.

Thirteen minutes later, Inter Miami was able to find the equalizer through a strike from Messi. In the 58th minute, Negri delivered a pass to the edge of the box from the left wing, where Messi struck the ball first time to beat the keeper with a left-footed curler to the far post to level the scoring at 1-1. The goal was the fourth for Messi this regular season and his sixth of the season across all competitions, while Negri's assist was his first in 2024.

Shortly after, Inter Miami would turn the match around with a goal from Afonso in the 60th minute. Messi once again was involved in the play, with the Argentine maestro finding Ruiz with space on the right end of the pitch, where the right back took a touch to enter the box before sending a low cross to the middle of the box for Afonso to send it to the back of the net with a right-footed finish. The goal was the first for Afonso with the Club's First Team in what was his first Inter Miami start, while the assist was the first for Ruiz this season.

Inter Miami continued attacking relentlessly throughout the remainder of the match and came close to extending its lead. Despite the hosts' efforts in attack and recording a total 18 shots to the visitor's six, Colorado tied the match in the 88th minute with a goal by midfielder Cole Bassett.

The scoreline then remained unmoved throughout the final minutes and Inter Miami claimed a point at home with a 2-2 draw.

Inter Miami will now travel to Mexico to close out the team's 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup quarterfinals series against C.F. Monterrey, with the team's set to play the second leg of the matchup at the Estadio BBVA in Monterrey on Wednesday, April 10 at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Scoring Summary:

MIA - Lionel Messi (Franco Negri) 58', Leo Afonso (David Ruiz) 60'

COL - Cole Bassett (Calvin Harris) 88'

Misconduct Summary:

MIA - Franco Negri (Yellow Card 38'), Marcelo Weigandt (Yellow Card 90' +4'), Jordi Alba (Yellow Card 90' +5')

COL - Rafael Navarro (Yellow Card 19'), Kévin Cabral (Yellow Card 40')

Lineups / Substitutions:

Inter Miami CF - GK Drake Callender ©; D David Ruiz, Ryan Sailor, Noah Allen, Franco Negri; M Julian Gressel (Marcelo Weigandt 57'), Tomás Avilés (Sergio Busquets 56'), Lawson Sunderland (Lionel Messi HT); F Shanyder Borgelin, Leonardo Campana (Diego Gómez 42'), Leo Afonso (Jordi Alba 70')

Unused Substitutes - GK CJ dos Santos; D Nicolás Freire; M Benjamin Cremaschi; F Luis Suárez

Colorado Rapids - GK Zack Steffen; D Sebastian Anderson, Moise Bombito, Andreas Maxsø, Sam Vines; M Oliver Larraz (Kimani Stweart-Baynes 76'), Cole Bassett, Omir Fernández (Calvin Harris 64'), Djordje Mihailovic, Kévin Cabral (Darren Yapi 53); F Rafael Navarro (Lamine Diack 85')

Unused Substitutes - GK Adam Beaudry; D Lalas Abubakar, Michael Edwards, Jackson Travis; F Wayne Frederick

Details of the Game:

Date: April 6, 2024

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

Stadium: Chase Stadium

Attendance: 20,868



MIA - 53.6%

COL - 46.4%


MIA - 18

COL - 6


MIA - 2

COL - 5


MIA - 6

COL - 6


MIA - 12

COL - 13

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