Inter Miami win vs. Hong Kong Team without Messi, Suárez

Inter Miami vs. Hong Kong Team - recap

Inter Miami CF earned the first victory of their global preseason tour Sunday at Hong Kong Stadium, racing to a 4-1 win over the Hong Kong Team as Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez watched on due to injury concerns.

Addressing the media postgame, head coach Tata Martino said Messi was dealing with adductor inflammation and Suárez had knee inflammation. Looking ahead to Inter Miami's regular-season opener on Feb. 21 vs. Real Salt Lake (8 pm ET | MLS Season Pass), they opted not to risk the superstar forwards.

"We understand the fans’ disappointment in the absence of Messi and Suarez, and we apologize for that, but this was a decision made with our medical staff," Martino said post-game after a sold-out crowd of 40,000 flocked to see the Herons.

"If there was a way they could have played even a little while we would have done it, but there was too much risk involved."

Yet Inter Miami found a clinical touch in the final third, pouring four goals past the collection of Hong Kong league standouts. Robert Taylor (40'), Lawson Sunderland (50'), Leonardo Campana (56') and Ryan Sailor (85') all scored.

Another development: Inter Miami switched from their five-man backline to a 4-3-3 formation, a decision Martino acknowledged helped his players seem "more comfortable." And they largely competed without Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, though the other half of Inter Miami's Big Four entered as 62nd-minute substitutes.

Two tests remain in Inter Miami's preseason travels: Feb. 7 at reigning J1 League champions Vissel Kobe and Feb. 15 home to Argentine top-flight side Newell's Old Boys.


  • 40' - MIA - Robert Taylor | WATCH
  • 43' - HKG - Henri Anier | WATCH
  • 50' - MIA - Lawson Sunderland | WATCH
  • 56' - MIA - Leonardo Campana | WATCH
  • 85' - MIA - Ryan Sailor | WATCH


  • MIA: CJ dos Santos - Noah Allen (Jordi Alba 62'), Sergii Kryvtsov (Ryan Sailor 31'), Tomás Avilés (Tyler Hall 87'), DeAndre Yedlin - Lawson Sunderland (Yannick Bright 80'), Gregore, David Ruíz (Sergio Busquets 62') - Robert Taylor, Leonardo Campana (Shanyder Borgelin 80'), Julian Gressel (Israel Boatwright 80')

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Inter Miami arrived in Hong Kong with a 0W-3L-1D preseason record, licking their wounds from a 6-0 defeat to Saudi Pro League side Al Nassr. They depart with a comfortable victory, though Messi and Suárez's availability will be tracked closely.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Taylor's opener was well-taken, curling a right-footed shot to the far post.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Campana expertly led the attack in Messi and Suárez's absence.

Next Up

  • MIA: Feb. 7 at Vissel Kobe | 5 am ET