Inter Miami

Inter Miami blows Leg 1 lead to Monterrey in Champions Cup quarterfinal

Miami conceded two second-half goals after David Ruiz's red card in the 65th minute.


FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA – APRIL 03: Luis Suárez #9 of Inter Miami and Gerardo Arteag #3 of Monterrey battle for the ball during the first half in the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Champions Cup – Leg One at Chase Stadium on April 03, 2024 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Rich Storry/Getty Images)

Inter Miami seemed to be headed for a win until a second-half red card saw the team capitulate, losing to Monterrey 2-1 in Leg 1 of the Concacaf Champions Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Tata Martino brought back Miami's 4-3-3 shape, though the Argentine combo of Lionel Messi and Federico Redondo were absent due to injury. Julian Gressel, primarily a right wing-back/centermidfielder hybrid, got the start at right wing.

Monterrey, on the other hand, opened with a 4-2-3-1 featuring defensive midfielder Luis Romo and left-back Gerardo Arteaga.

The good news for Miami started early on, as Gressel's corner kick from the right flank was placed home by 19-year-old center-back Tomas Aviles.

But the bad news came before the interval. Left winger Robert Taylor was forced to come off with an injury, so academy product Leo Afonso was forced into action.

The game stayed 1-0 at halftime, but things worsened in the second quite dramatically.

In the 65th minute, 20-year-old midfielder David Ruiz was sent off with a second yellow card for extending his arm at a Monterrey player.

From there, it was all Monterrey as Inter Miami couldn't handle being down to 10 men.

Maximiliano Meza equalized in the 69th minute, from the same corner spot as Aviles' opener.

Then defensive midfielder Jorge Rodriguez curled home a wondrous strike in the 89th minute after Miami failed to clear its lines.

Miami will now need to comeback on the road in order to advance to the semifinals, which may prove tough if Messi is not fit to play.

Leg 2 at the Estadio BBVA is set for Wednesday, April 10, at 10:30 p.m. ET.

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