Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez were athletically absent in their second preseason match against FC Dallas, despite displaying signs of their former deadly partnership at Barcelona.
The match, at the sparse Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas, where the hosts won 1-0, Daily Mail reported.
The thrilling game kicked off with a great start for Dallas with its striker Jesus Ferreira scoring in the first minute of the game, after being played in by Paul Arriola.
However, Miami dominated the rest of the half, despite not being reflected on the scoresheet.
Messi nearly scored in the eighth minute with an Olimpico attempt, forcing Dallas goalie Maarten Paes to retreat. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner then came close again four minutes later, as Dallas gave away the ball near its goal.
Messi found David Ruiz with a diagonal ball in the 15th minute, which Ruiz cleverly dribbled for Suarez. However, his shot was scuffed, which Paes easily caught. Ferreira then sustained an injury but was able to leave the field.
Messi played quarterback before halftime, dropping a pass to Suarez, but his teammate volleyed wide.
He continued to pressure Dallas’ goal, forcing a parry from Paes after a half-volley. Suarez failed to latch onto a cross from Jordi Alba, but the play was ruled offsides.
Messi nearly scored a penalty, but Omar Gonzalez saved it, and Messi and Suarez left the field in the 64th minute.
Dallas nearly doubled its lead in the 83rd minute, but a goal-blank save from goalie Drake Callender secured the game 1-0.
Inter Miami will now head to Saudi Arabia for the next leg of preparations. The Herons will face Al-Hilal on January 29 before playing Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr on February 1.