Inter Miami vs. Orlando City SC score, highlights: True rivalry game ends in a draw without Lionel Messi

Sep 3, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Inter Miami forward Lionel Messi (10) against Los Angeles FC at BMO Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 3, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Inter Miami forward Lionel Messi (10) against Los Angeles FC at BMO Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Inter Miami and Orlando City SC gave the fans a show without Lionel Messi on the pitch.

A hard-nosed battle between two in-state rivals definitely delivered on its promise of high-octane action. The scoreboard reads a different story than the eye test though. Despite the 1-1 tie, Orlando City SC dominated possession all game long. The Orlando forwards consistently pressured Inter Miami’s defenders, which Miami couldn’t handle for most of the game. This led to several offensive opportunities for Orlando, but you know what they say: “Nothing matters if you can’t finish.”

That might be the moral of the story for tonight’s game. Despite outperforming Miami in nearly every metric, Orlando couldn’t finish on their opportunities. Whether it was missed shots with only the keeper to beat, powerful shots directly at Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender, or beautiful crosses that couldn’t find that final touch, Orlando always seemed to be one step away from taking a lead.

Ultimately, Miami’s Leo Campana made one too many great throughs on offense to take an early 1-0 lead after a rebound goal by David Ruiz. That was all Miami needed to walk away with a point in this one though. Miami had their fair share of chances on offense, but nothing compared to the multitude of opportunities Orlando had.

Orlando’s next game will be against Montreal on Saturday, September 30. Miami, meanwhile, heads back home for the U.S. Open Cup Final against Houston. In their lone meeting earlier this year, Houston got the best of Miami 1-0.

How it went down: McGuire's equalizer earns Orlando City 1-1 draw with Messi-less Inter Miami

Inter Miami vs. Orlando City score, highlights

Despite numerous scoring chances for both sides, Miami and Orlando ended this game in a 1-1 tie. Here are some of the best moments from both in-state rivals.

When will Messi play next?

With this game in the books, fans are already looking to Miami's next game -- September 27 vs. Houston -- as the next opportunity to see Lionel Messi lace up for his return to the field. As it stands right now though, Messi's availability in the U.S. Open Cup final is up in the air.

Obviously, Messi was unable to pay today, and Miami coach Gerardo Martino has been awfully vague regarding Messi's potential to play in Saturday's final. The Herons have relied heavily on Messi's brilliance throughout the season, but could need one more vintage performance if they hope to secure the victory against Houston.

As it stands, Messi's next performance for Inter Miami is still unknown.

No Messi, plenty of action:

Inter Miami came into the game thin on star power. But from the start, it was clear that both sides wanted this one badly. A draw was the most just conclusion to this one, 1-1.

Orlando City Substitution (83'): Duncan McGuire, Mauricio Pereyra out; Gaston Gonzalez, Junior Urso in

McGuire may have scored the lone goal of the game for Orlando, but he's been arguably the least productive forward for Orlando. Most of the chances have seemingly come off the foot of Torres.

Gonzalez and Urso swap places as well. Gonzalez is a well-regarded 22-year-old with lots of potential. Excited to see him get some minutes.

Dixon Arroyo Yellow Card (78')

Working a little too hard near midfield, Arroyo ruins an advantage opportunity for Inter Miami with a hard slide tackle. This was Miami's third yellow card of the game.

Orlando Substitution (78'): Dagur Dan Thorhallsson out, Michael Halliday in

Thorhallsson is removed from the game after a series of great pressures throughout the game. He commanded the middle of the field very well for most of the game.

Cremaschi foul (76')

Already with a yellow card, Miami's Cremaschi performed a tackle on Facundo Torres. The tackle missed the ball entirely, tripping up Torres. The ensuing free kick would eventually lead to a shot on target from Torres, handled easily by Callender.

Orlando Substitution (73'): Ivan Angulo out, Ramiro Enrique in

Angulo had a great opportunity to score earlier in the game, but ultimately missed the net entirely. He is replace by Ramiro Enrique, who scored two goals in Orlando's 4-3 win over Columbus on September 16.

Miami Substitution (71'): Josef Martinez out, Facundo Farias in

Despite having many pivotal moments thus far, Martinez was brought out of the game in the 71st minute in favor of Facundo Farias. Game is still tied, 1-1.

Orlando City SC Goal, Duncan McGuire (66'): Orlando finally gets on the scoresheet

After tons of shot attempts and chances on net, McGuire finally breaks through with a shot between the legs of Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender. McGuire's ninth goal of the season couldn't have come at a more opportune time, as the momentum shifts back to Orlando's favor. They've dominated opportunities and time of possession. They couldn't afford to let Miami gain any more confidence. We're all tied up at 1.

Rodrigo Schlegel yellow card (59')

Following a terrific save by Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender, an attempted clear led to a hard fight for the ball between Leo Campana and Schlegel led to Campana falling to the ground. Schlegel has been fighting hard all game, and that ferocious play finally caught up to him. That's Orlando's second yellow card in five minutes.

Robin Jansson Yellow Card (54')

Immediately following Miami's goal, Orlando had an opportunity to score that was ultimately cleared. As has been the case all game though, Miami had a tough time getting the ball out of their zone. Eventually, Orlando City's Jansson offered a little too much pressure, earning the Lions their first yellow card of the game.

Inter Miami Goal, David Ruiz (52'): Miami is first on the scoresheet

A terrific series by Leo Campana. What started with a back pressure from Campana into an immediate counterattack led to a terrific feed into the box from Campana to Josef Martinez. Martinez gave a shot on goal, which was saved, but the rebound landed directly on Ruiz's foot. The goal was entirely open, and Ruiz couldn't miss if he tried. Miami strikes first. They lead 1-0.

Facundo Torres Shot on Target (48')

From outside the box, Orlando City's leading scorer, Torres, lets loose and nearly hits twine. A nice save from Drake Callender keeps it tied.

Inter Miami vs. Orlando City halftime score, update:

Although there were several scoring opportunities throughout the first half, the score remains knotted at 0-0. Orlando City has dominated early on with constant pressure in the attacking zone, forcing turnover after turnover, leading to numerous scoring opportunities right next to the Miami net. Miami has had some chances of their own, but if they want a chance to win, they'll need to take far better care of the football in the second half.

Serhiy Kryvtsov Injury (45+1')

An opportunity near the Orlando goal led to a semi-serious injury to Miami's Serhiy Kryvtsov. He seemed to sustain a cut to his eye, which trainers promptly taped up. Kryvtsov left the game for the remainder of the half.

Leo Campana great scoring opportunity (42')

Robert Taylor offered a great cross deep into Orlando City's box. Campana had a clean header opportunity, but it was just too close to Lions' goalkeeper, Pedro Gallese. Finally, Inter Miami making some noise though.

Robin Jansson injury (35')

While fighting for the ball with Josef Martinez, Martinez's head went straight up into Jansson's chin. Trainers came out and checked on Jansson. Jansson remained in the game.

Cremaschi clearly frustrated

Minutes after his yellow card, Cremaschi is playing with fire, committing another foul. Tensions are clearly high in this one. Then, he promptly gives the ball away just outside of Miami's box, which led to another Orlando City scoring opportunity.

Yellow Card: Benjamin Cremaschi (31')

Already two yellow cards have been handed out to Inter Miami. Miami has been forced to match the physicality of Orlando City in order to maintain possession, but it's not working in Miami's favor.

DeAndre Yedlin drawing attention early

The Miami defense has struggled early on. Yedlin has been targeted often by the Lions' midfielders. Still, when tasked with stepping between defenders and the ball early on, Yedlin has been one of the few bright spots for Miami thus far. Yedlin is forced to be a leader with the likes of Jordi Alba and Sergio Brusquets out for this game.

Yellow Card: Tomas Aviles (23')

Aviles was getting a little too footsy in his own zone. Too much contact draws his second foul and a yellow card and a free kick. Orlando continues applying the pressure, taking advantage of Miami's subpar defense.

Orlando City dominating possession early

Fifteen minutes into the game, Orlando has had possession of the ball nearly 60 percent of the time. They are applying constant pressure to Miami's defenders. They can't breathe without a Lion stalking them. Most of Miami's possession has been backing up, looking to avoid turning it over so close to their own goal, and even that isn't working very well.

Aviles foul:

An early foul ('5) from Aviles near the box gives Orlando a free kick on the left side of the box and it's all for not. Score is still all nil.

Game kicks off:

The temperature is a warm 82 degrees in Orlando. It will be a warm and raucous one to be sure.

The atmosphere is what you would expect from a rivalry game, despite missing the greatest player to ever boot on boots.

What time does Inter Miami play today vs. Orlando City SC?

Inter Miami-Orlando City starts at 7:30 pm ET/4:30 pm PT at Exploria Stadium in Orlando.

How to watch Inter Miami vs. Sporting KC: Stream online

Fans can catch the game on Apple TV+ through the streaming service's MLS Season Pass. fuboTV is also streaming the game live.

Is Lionel Messi playing tonight?

The big question heading into tonight though is whether or not Lionel Messi will play. The Argentinian superstar did suit up for Inter Miami's last game, a 4-0 win over Toronto. However, Messi played just 37 minutes, limping off the field with an apparent injury.

Per reports, Inter Miami coach Gerardo Martino ruled Messi, as well as Spanish fullback Jordi Alba, out for Sunday's match. Martino claimed this decision was made due to muscle fatigue. He further detailed that Messi is dealing with "his old scar tissue."

Miami’s next game is Wednesday, September 27, against Houston Dynamo FC. They are currently fourth in the Western Conference with 43 points and a 12-11-7 record.

Inter Miami vs. Orlando Soccer Club predictions:

Jon Hoefling, Sports Reporter: Miami 2, Orlando City 2. While Miami will certainly have a tougher time scoring without Messi in the lineup, the team has proven more than capable of netting a few goals without their superstar. Their last game saw them net four goals, all of which came after Messi had already left the game. They put up three and two goals respectively in their other Messi-less matches against Sporting KC and Atlanta. They’ve also managed to keep a few of their recent road contests close.

Gabe Zaldivar, sports editor: Orlando gets the best of Miami in this one. With an eye on position in the playoffs and the season dwindling, this will be a long game for the Messi-less side.

Inter Miami vs. Orlando SC betting odds:

Moneyline: Orlando City (-130), Inter Miami (+310), Draw (+295)

Spread: Orlando City (-0.5, -125); Inter Miami (+0.5, -105)

Over/Under: 2.5 goals

MLS standings:

Miami currently sits at 14th of 15 in the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 9-15-4. Only the top nine qualify for the MLS playoffs.

Orlando City SC sits much more comfortably at second in the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 14-7-8. They are one point away from clinching a playoff berth.

MLS Standings: Scores, odds, and updates

Inter Miami highlights: Robert Taylor went big last game 

Miami midfielder Robert Taylor played a crucial part in his team’s 4-0 victory over Toronto on Wednesday, recording two goals and an assist, including on in the 87th off a nice feed from teammate Ariel Lassiter.

Inter Miami lineup:

Orlando City SC lineup:

Inter Miami could lean on Leonardo Campana:

Injuries are galore in Miami. With Messi, Jordi Alba, and Sergio Brusquets all out for this game. There is a good chance that Miami could lean heavily on star forward Leonardo Campana. Campana has scored four goals in Miami’s last three games, including the entirety of Miami’s goals in their loss against Atlanta.

Can Messi, Inter Miami make the playoffs?

Absolutely, but time is running thin with only seven games left in the regular season. While Miami currently sits outside of the MLS playoff bubble, they do hold at least two games in hand over Montreal, New York City, D.C. United, New York Red Bulls, and Chicago – eighth through twelfth in the MLS Eastern Conference respectively.

If Messi can return sooner rather than later, four of Miami’s final five games are against teams standing in between them and a playoff spot. Two consecutive wins would actually put Miami in a deadlock for eighth place with both Montreal and New York City, assuming Montreal loses their next game. Miami would hold a wins advantage over New York City though and a goal differential advantage over Montreal, putting them in the driver’s seat for a playoff spot.

Orlando City SC Player to Watch:

Orlando City midfielder Facundo Torres leads the Lions in goals (12) by a rather wide margin. The next closest Lion, Duncan McGuire, has just eight. He has five goals in Orlando’s last six matches, and is also one of the club’s best passers, ranking fifth in accurate pass percentage among all Lions with at least 20 games played this season. He was held in check during Orlando’s last match against Miami on August 2, so look for him to bounce back against the team this time around. Furthermore, Torres is just one goal away from third place on Orlando's all-time scoring list. He's aching for the back of the net, and what better game to do it in than the Florida rivalry match.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Inter Miami vs. Orlando City SC score: highlights of 1-1 draw without Messi