Messi scores on return from injury for Inter Miami

Lionel Messi scored on his return from injury as Inter Miami were held to a 2-2 home draw with Colorado in their Major League Soccer (MLS) clash.

Washington, April 7 (IANS) Lionel Messi scored on his return from injury as Inter Miami were held to a 2-2 home draw with Colorado in their Major League Soccer (MLS) clash.

Messi, who had been sidelined since March 13 with a hamstring strain, came off the bench at halftime of the duel at Chase stadium in Fort Lauderdale and his impact was almost immediate, reports Xinhua.

The visitors had gone ahead on the stroke of halftime when Rafael Navarro converted from the penalty spot but Messi put his side on level terms 12 minutes after the restart as his first-time effort rebounded in off the post following Franco Negri’s cross.

The Argentina World Cup-winning captain then helped his team take the lead with a perfectly weighted pass to David Ruiz, who set up Leonardo Afonso to fire home from eight yards.

But the hosts were unable to maintain their momentum and Cole Bassett put Colorado on level terms with a cool finish on the counterattack two minutes from time.

“It was the usual [with Messi] in what he provokes in our team, in the rival and in the fans,” Inter Miami manager Gerardo Martino told reporters after the match. “The most important thing is that he felt comfortable, he felt good and free of injury.”

“That’s why it is a shame to let go of two points. I think we continue making errors that are proving costly.”

Messi has now scored five goals in as many games across all competitions for the Florida outfit this season.

The result leaves Inter Miami third in the 15-team Eastern Conference standings with 12 points from eight outings while Colorado are ninth in the Western Conference with nine points so far.

–IANS

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