No action for Kenyan defenders as Orlando City draw with Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami

STARS ABROAD No action for Kenyan defenders as Orlando City draw with Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami

Mark Kinyanjui 14:30 - 25.09.2023

Both Kenyan defenders took no part as Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami forced Orlando City to a 1-1 draw, while Wanyama’s Montreal Impact were battered.

Kenyan defenders Abdi Salim and Nabilai Kibunguchy were left out of the squad as Orlando City FC labored to a 1-1 draw against Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami on Sunday.

Former Barcelona trio who are now in the books of Inter Miami, Jordi Alba, Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets all missed the match.

The first half at Exploria Stadium presented an even matchup with both sides trading opportunities throughout the 45 minutes.

Inter Miami’s most dangerous chances came courtesy of Leonardo Campana, with the Ecuadorian striker forcing saves from Orlando City keeper Pedro Gallese, first with a shot from outside the box in the 26th minute and then in the 42nd minute with a header inside the box following a corner delivery from Taylor.

The visitors were then able to open the scoring early on in the second half, with Ruiz giving Inter Miami the go-ahead goal in the 52nd minute.

Campana slipped a ball to Martínez on the right side of the box, where he unleashed a left-footed shot that was blocked by Orlando’s keeper, but Ruiz reacted quickly to take advantage of the rebound in front of goal and sent the ball to the back of the net. 

Orlando, however, responded moments later, with forward Duncan McGuire finding the equaliser in the 66th minute.

Despite efforts from both sides to find the winner, the 1-1 scoreline remained unmoved throughout the remaining minutes for Inter Miami to claim a point on the road against its rivals.

Meanwhile, in another MLS clash, Victor Wanyama could not help change fortunes of CF Montreal, looking helpless from the bench as the Canadian outfit were taken apart by Atalanta.

The former Harambee Stars captain had started during the midweek match against FC Cincinnati but was dropped for their visit to Atalanta United four days later.

With a playoff berth in sight, Xande Silva and MVP candidate Thiago Almada scored in a span of three minutes to give Atlanta a first-half lead over Eastern Conference side CF Montréal.

The 5-Stripes added another two goals in the second half, the 15th of the season for Giorgos Giakoumakis and a late add-on from Edwin Mosquera, to defeat Montréal 4-1 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The result means Atlanta United locks up qualification for the MLS Cup Playoffs with three matches remaining in the regular season. It's the fifth time in the club's seven-year history in MLS that the team has qualified for the postseason.