Messi, Suárez lead Inter Miami to stunning Champions Cup comeback at Nashville

MIA-NSH recap Champions Cup

Inter Miami CF are in the driver's seat of their Concacaf Champions Cup Round-of-16 series vs. Nashville SC, as second-half goals from Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez gave the visitors a thrilling 2-2 draw Thursday night at GEODIS Park.

The Herons' advantage is rooted in the away-goals tiebreaker before Leg 2 is played on March 13 at Chase Stadium – determining who will meet FC Cincinnati or CF Monterrey in the quarterfinals.

Messi ignited the comeback in the 52nd minute, curling home a golazo following Suárez's laid-off pass atop the box. Suárez then stunned the hosts with a 95th-minute header off Sergio Busquets' cross, reflecting the Barça Boys' knockout-round bonafides (Jordi Alba didn't play due to illness).

Nashville couldn't have dreamed up a better start, as Jacob Shaffelburg bagged a brace through a 4th-minute roofed shot and a 47th-minute golazo. They also thought Shaq Moore scored an 83rd-minute insurance goal, only for Video Review to deem the US international was offside in the buildup.

After all the back-and-forth, it's advantage Inter Miami in this two-part rematch of the 2023 Leagues Cup final Messi & Co. memorably won last summer.


  • 4' - NSH - Jacob Shaffelburg | WATCH
  • 47' - NSH - Jacob Shaffelburg | WATCH
  • 52' - MIA - Lionel Messi | WATCH
  • 90+5' - MIA - Luis Suárez | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: The last time these Eastern Conference teams met at GEODIS Park, an epic match unfolded whereby Tata Martino's squad left on better terms. That was again the case in CCC play, as Inter Miami boosted their tournament ambitions by Messi and Suárez scoring highlight-reel goals. For Nashville, it's another case of "what could have been" – though Hany Mukhtar returning from injury was a positive sign. 
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The job's not done, but Suárez's late header shifts momentum towards the Herons.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Argentine midfielder Federico Redondo was outstanding on his Inter Miami debut, and Messi was his usually phenomenal self. But the honors deservedly go to Shaffelburg, whose brace has Nashville very much alive.

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