Inter Miami fall behind CF Monterrey in Champions Cup quarterfinal series


Liga MX heavyweights CF Monterrey have an advantage over Inter Miami CF halfway through their Concacaf Champions Cup quarterfinal series, recording a 2-1 comeback victory Wednesday night at Chase Stadium.

Inter Miami, who played their fourth straight game across all competitions without Lionel Messi (hamstring), went ahead in the 19th minute through Tomás Avilés. The center back redirected home Julian Gressel's corner kick, giving the hosts a 1-0 advantage.

But the match turned on its head in the 65th minute when Inter Miami midfielder David Ruiz was red-carded for his second bookable offense in four minutes. He'll now miss Leg 2 on April 10 at Monterrey's Estadio BBVA, a match that decides who meets the Herediano-Pachuca series winner in the CCC semifinals.

Monterrey seized their man advantage by pouncing on a 69th-minute corner kick, leveling at 1-1 when Maxi Meza cleaned up Drake Callender's reaction save at the back post. And then midfielder Jorge Rodríguez curled home a world-class winner in the 89th minute after Inter Miami failed to clear their lines.

Adding to Inter Miami's lengthy list of injury concerns, winger Robert Taylor subbed off in the 37th minute with apparent discomfort in his left hamstring.


  • 19' - MIA - Tomás Avilés | WATCH
  • 69' - MTY - Maxi Meza | WATCH
  • 89' - MTY - Jorge Rodríguez | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Inter Miami were in control until Ruiz's red card, which let momentum firmly shift towards Rayados. But here's the big question: Will Messi be healthy enough to compete in Leg 2 next week in Mexico? Inter Miami's hopes – they must score at least two away goals, alongside other variables – could ride on the Argentine superstar's availability. If not, it's an early exit from a competition head coach Tata Martino has established as a priority.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Seeing red in a game of this caliber is a low moment for Ruiz. How will the 20-year-old homegrown and Honduran international bounce back?
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Meza finished with 1g/1a, starting the comeback before setting up Rodríguez's golazo.

Next Up

  • MIA: Saturday, April 6 vs. Colorado Rapids | 7:30 pm ET (MLS Season Pass) | MLS regular season
  • MTY: Saturday, April 6 at Cruz Azul | 11 pm ET | Liga MX Clausura