Inter Miami without Messi or Suárez wins and remains at the top

Without Argentine Leo Messi or Uruguayan Luis Suárez, Inter Miami triumphed 2-1 on the field against Vancouver, with decisive performances from Ecuadorian Leonardo Campana and Finn Robbie Taylor, allowing the Herons to maintain their leadership in the MLS Eastern Conference ahead of Cincinnati.

Taylor, with a superb goal in the 38th minute, and Campana scored for Inter Miami, which holds a one-point advantage over Cincinnati, with one more game played than the Ohio team.

At Inter Miami’s most challenging moment, with Vancouver pressing, Campana capitalized on a pass from Robbie Taylor to finish with his right foot and celebrate the 2-0 lead (54th minute).

The Ecuadorian’s fourth goal put them further ahead, but the Canadians continued to press and protested a penalty suffered by Fafa Picault. The referee reviewed the contact with Avilés and awarded a penalty.

Scottish player Ryan Gauld converted it, and the Canadians pushed hard until the ninth minute of added time, unable to break through the defensive wall set up by Argentine coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino.

Inter Miami extended their unbeaten streak to ten games, while Vancouver remains winless in six.

Vancouver and Miami faced off, the two clubs separated by the most kilometers in the MLS. The flight, lasting almost seven hours, is the longest in the league.

The news of Messi, Suárez, and Busquets being absent even prompted a response from the Whitecaps’ general manager, who alerted their fans in a statement released last Thursday.

“Although we have not received an official update on the availability of Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, and Sergio Busquets for this weekend, we understand that they will not make this trip. Unfortunately, we have no control over who plays for our opponent, and it was important for us to communicate this to our fans as soon as possible,” said Whitecaps’ general manager Axel Schuster.

Messi, Suárez, and Busquets conserved energy for the next two matches of Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino’s club, both at home against Atlanta United and Saint Louis.

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