Messi, Suárez lift Inter Miami into Concacaf Champions Cup quarterfinals

Messi - Suarez CCC Leg 2

A virtuoso performance from Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez has Inter Miami CF marching onto the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup quarterfinals.

The superstar forwards were at their vintage best in Wednesday's 3-1 Leg 2 rout of Nashville SC at Chase Stadium, exerting their influence all over the 5-3 aggregate victory after sparking a 2-2 comeback draw in Leg 1 at GEODIS Park.

The legends' mark was felt from the outset, as Messi set Suárez up for a wide-open finish (8') past Nashville goalkeeper Joe Willis. Messi added to the soaring start in the 23rd minute, lashing home a patented left-footed strike after a stellar individual run from Paraguayan teammate Diego Gómez created the opportunity.

Suárez capped it off with a pinpoint assist on Robert Taylor's 63rd-minute dagger, sending Inter Miami to meet reigning MLS Supporters' Shield winners FC Cincinnati or Liga MX powerhouse CF Monterrey in the CCC quarterfinals (held in early April).

Two wrinkles for Inter Miami: Nashville pulled a 93rd-minute consolation goal back through Sam Surridge, who tapped home a grass-cutting cross from Shaq Moore. And Messi exited in the 50th minute for Taylor, with head coach Tata Martino saying postgame a right leg injury has his Matchday 5 status in doubt.


  • 8' - MIA - Luis Suárez | WATCH
  • 23' - MIA - Lionel Messi | WATCH
  • 63' - MIA - Robert Taylor | WATCH
  • 90+3' - NSH - Sam Surridge | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Wednesday's theatrics continued an electric start to the 2024 season for Messi and Suárez, who have Inter Miami looking like tournament frontrunners. The former FC Barcelona duo were simply unstoppable in this Round-of-16 series after also scoring in Leg 1. If they continue to perform at this level, Inter Miami will be tough to stop. For Nashville, it's more heartbreak after also losing the 2023 Leagues Cup final against Tata Martino's side.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Suárez is among the game's best-ever goalscorers, but how's this for an assist on Taylor's second-half header that effectively put the series to bed?
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: With a crucial opening goal and that aforementioned assist, Suárez gets the honors for this one, though Messi made a strong case before his 50th-minute substitution.

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