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19/05/24 | 11:11 am

Messi returns from injury as Miami edge DC United 1-0 on late goal

Substitute Leo Campana scored in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time to lift Lionel Messi’s sluggish-looking Inter Miami squad to a 1-0 victory over D.C. United on Saturday (May 18) night in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Campana had entered the match just a minute before scoring his third goal of the season. He was making his 12th appearance.

Drake Callender made three saves to record his fourth clean sheet of the year and his second in a row after Miami (9-2-4, 31 points) played to a 0-0 draw at Orlando City on Wednesday in a match that Messi missed due to a knee injury.

Eight of Miami’s wins have now come with Messi in the lineup, and the Herons have not been shut out when the superstar forward sees the field.

But Messi, who has 10 goals and an MLS-leading 12 assists on the season, rarely looked threatening on a night that included oppressive conditions, with intense rain stifling creative play early. Sweltering heat also resulted in a first-half hydration break.

Goalkeeper Alex Bono made two stops for D.C. United (4-5-5, 17 points), who have now lost back-to-back matches despite a much-improved defensive showing following a 4-1 home loss to the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday night.

Sergio Busquets provided a long service from the midfield stripe. Campana touched the ball down on the run with the side of his foot, then unleashed a ferocious half-volley that struck the underside of the crossbar on its way across the goal line.

(REUTERS)

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