Inter Miami, Messi crash out of CONCACAF Champions Cup

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Mexican side Monterrey sent Lionel Messi and Inter Miami crashing out of the CONCACAF Champions Cup on Wednesday after completing a 5-2 aggregate victory in their quarter-final clash.

Inter Miami, Messi crash out of CONCACAF Champions Cup

Inter Miami’s Argentine forward Lionel Messi reacts after Monterrey’s Argentine forward German Berterame scored a goal during the Concacaf Champions Cup quarter-final second-leg football match between Mexico’s Monterrey and US’ Inter Miami at the BBVA Stadium in Monterrey, Mexico on April 10, 2024. (Photo by YURI CORTEZ / AFP)M

Goals from Brandon Vazquez, German Berterame and Jesus Gallardo sealed a deserved 3-1 win on the night for the Liga-MX side, who advance to a semi-final with Major League Soccer champions Columbus.

Trailing 2-1 after last week’s first leg in Florida, Inter Miami recalled Messi to their starting line-up for the first time since his near-month-long injury absence.

But the presence of the eight-time Ballon D’Or winner was not enough to inspire Inter against a Monterrey side who looked far sharper in all departments.

Inter goalkeeper Drake Callender was forced into action early on, saving smartly after a bullet header by Monterrey’s US international striker Vazquez.

Messi had Miami’s best chance of the first half but he shot over the bar from just inside the area on 25 minutes.

Monterrey took the lead on 31 minutes after Vazquez punished a howler from Callender.

The goalkeeper miscued an attempted pass to Sergio Busquets and found Vazquez just yards from the Miami goal.

The American coolly sent Callender the wrong way and tucked away the finish.

Inter Miami created little of note thereafter, with Messi’s former Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez rightly having a goal disallowed for offside in first-half stoppage time.

On 58 minutes, Monterrey left Miami with a mountain to climb with a fantastic strike from their own Argentine striker Berterame.

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