Messi, Suarez and Alba score, but Inter Miami can only muster a tie with St. Louis City

Lionel Messi is off to international duty with Argentina, but he is leaving Inter Miami during a challenging moment after the South Florida side failed to win at home for a second consecutive game.

A resilient Inter Miami fought back to score three separate equalizers at Chase Stadium on Saturday night en route to playing to a thrilling 3-3 draw with St. Louis City SC. Messi, Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba all scored, but it was not enough for Inter Miami to to return to winning ways after Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to Atlanta United.

The result saw Inter Miami finish with four points out of a potential nine during this busy week that had the Eastern Conference leader playing three games in eight days. Inter Miami is now 10-5-3 on the year.

“There is a positive takeaway from this game, and that is that we tied three times after falling behind,” Inter Miami coach Tata Martino said. “We also outplayed the opponent in the final 10 minutes, and we could have won the game. We should have won the game.”

Substitute midfielder Benjamin Cremaschi was not as rosy with his post-game outlook.

“Obviously we are not too happy that they scored three goals on us at home,” Cremaschi said. “We need to have more passion and desire to win, more so at home than anywhere else. We know we have a lot of things to work on, and that is what we are going to do.”

“The idea was to pick up nine points and we finished with four,” Cremaschi later added. “There are a lot of things to improve upon.”

St. Louis City SC took three separate leads in the match, with Chris Durkin and former Inter Miami attacker Indiana Vassilev scoring in the first half before Suarez scored an own goal in the second.

Tata Martino’s team refused to surrender, however. Messi scored the first equalizer in the 25th minute, pulling off his dribbling magic before finding Alba out wide on the left. Alba returned the favor with a low ball to an unmarked Messi, who curled a splendid shot inside of the left post.

The goal marked Messi’s league-leading 12th of the MLS season and 14th across all competitions.

“He along with Jordi were practicably responsible for participating in all of our attacks in today’s game,” Martino said. “He was involved in our finishing, he was involved in our chance creation, and he insisted during the entire 90 minutes, even in the final moments.”

Alba provided the assist on Inter Miami’s second goal two minutes into first-half stoppage time, delivering a cross on the ground from the left to the far post that found Suarez for a tight-angled finish.

The Spanish fullback then went from creator to scorer, authoring a composed tying finish in the 85th minute that saved Inter Miami from a second straight defeat. Alba raced to a ball in behind St. Louis City’s defense on the left and calmly scored, though his goal was initially called back for offside before video review before the call was overturned.

“Unfortunately, the goal did not serve for anything,” Alba said. “We wanted the three points, which is what honestly matters to me, but we have to move forward and improve on things.”

Marcelo Weigandt almost gave Inter Miami a dramatic go-ahead tally four minutes later with a stinging shot from the right, but St. Louis City SC goalkeeper Roman Burki made an acrobatic save to keep the game level.

Midfielder Federico Redondo and centerback Sergiy Kryvtsov left the match early for Inter Miami. Redondo was substituted at the half hour mark while Kryvtsov exited at halftime.

“Redondo has some discomfort in his adductor, and we will see how serious it is through the exams he will undergo,” Martino said. “In Sergiy’s case, he finished the first half dizzy and vomited in the locker room, so he was not in condition to continue.

“Both changes were absolutely necessary.”

Messi and a few other players will now depart for international duty while Inter Miami takes the next week off from training and matches. The team returns to action June 15 with a road game against the Philadelphia Union.