Matías Rojas magic: Inter Miami roar back as Messi held scoreless


For all his powers, Lionel Messi couldn’t produce a third straight record-breaking performance for Inter Miami CF on Saturday night at CF Montréal. He didn’t need to.

New signing Matías Rojas continued his strong form by posting 1g/1a – all while Luis Suárez and Benjamin Cremaschi added a goal apiece in a 3-2 comeback that extended Miami’s winning streak to five and kept them firmly atop the Supporters’ Shield standings (8W-2L-3D; 27 points).

The result also improved Inter Miami's record to 6W-2L-2D after conceding a goal this season, good for an MLS-best 20 points from losing positions in 2024.

Even more impressive? Messi wasn’t even on the field when the Herons turned the game around at Stade Saputo.

Rojas leads the charge

“I think Matías’ goal gave us the game,” head coach Gerardo Martino said post-match of the Paraguayan international’s dead-ball stunner just before the break. “Truthfully, up to that point, we’d created some situations. But there were no signs we’d be able to pull a goal back.”

And yet that’s what Rojas, who only took the free kick due to Messi being held on the sidelines after suffering a non-yellow card foul from George Campbell, did in the 44th minute with Montréal up 2-0. Suárez quickly followed with a first-half stoppage-time equalizer that put him at 11 goals – tied for the Golden Boot presented by Audi lead with D.C. United’s Christian Benteke and Real Salt Lake's Cristian Arango.

“[Rojas] scored a very nice free-kick goal and from then we started playing differently,” Tata added. “We went back to what we always do, going back to a 4-4-2 and without a doubt we felt more comfortable.”

So comfortable, they put the game away for good in the 59th minute. Messi got things started with a through ball for Rojas, who gave Cremaschi an opening for the 19-year-old homegrown to muscle a close-range game-winner past a charging Jonathan Sirois in goal.

It was another deficit-turned-comeback for Miami, who avenged their 3-2 home loss to Montréal in March while showcasing their depth. And for Martino, it’s a sign not to tinker with what’s working.

“I shouldn’t change how the team plays. I think we feel comfortable playing a certain way,” Tata said. “Today I tried to modify our function based on Montréal’s virtues, specifically their playmaking. And once I tried to modify it, we were down 2-0. I read the game wrong.

“… Once we went back to the 4-4-2, we felt more comfortable. We were ourselves and we were able to turn the game around.”