Inter Miami disappoints Whitecaps fans with missing stars and 2-1 victory

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Robert Taylor scored a first-half goal and picked up an assist on Leo Campana's netter in the second half and Inter Miami defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 on Saturday night, despite missing superstar Lionel Messi along with high-scoring Luis Suárez and midfielder Sergio Busquets.

Taylor scored for the third time this season when he used an assist from Jordi Alba to find the net in the 38th minute, giving Inter Miami (10-2-4) a 1-0 lead at halftime.

Taylor notched his assist in the 54th minute when Campana scored his fourth goal of the season for a two-goal advantage.

The Whitecaps (5-5-4) avoided the shutout when Ryan Gauld scored unassisted in the 72nd minute. It was Gauld's fifth goal.

Drake Callender saved one shot and wasn't tested in the scoreless first half for Inter Miami.

Yohei Takaoka finished with four saves for Vancouver, all in the first half.

Vancouver fans voiced their displeasure on social media after Inter Miami announced earlier in the week that the trio would not be making the trip out West. Miami coach Gerardo (Tata) Martino told reporters Friday that the club opted to keep the 36-year-old Messi — as well Suarez, 37, and Busquets, 35, in Florida because of upcoming home matches on Wednesday and Saturday next week.

It was a tough turn of events for the Whitecaps, who were expecting a record crowd of more than 50,000.

“Unfortunately, we have no control over who plays for our opponent, and it was important for us to communicate to our fans as soon as possible,“ Vancouver CEO Axel Schuster said in a statement on Thursday.

The Whitecaps offered fans a free ticket to a future match as well as 50% off food and beverages and free kids' meals for anyone under 18 during the match.

Inter Miami will host Atlanta United on Wednesday. Vancouver travels to play Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday.


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