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Messi-Less Inter Miami’s Playoff Pursuit Dented In 4-1 Chicago Fire Defeat



In the absence of an injured Lionel Messi, Chicago Fire clinched a commanding 4-1 victory against Inter Miami in front of a full house at Soldier Field early on Thursday morning. Goals from Maren Haile-Selassie and Xherdan Shaqiri powered the home side to eighth position in the Eastern Conference standings.

Inter Miami struggled from the outset, with careless mistakes gifting possession to their opponents. Chicago capitalised on these errors after the break as Fabian Herbers raced into the box and teed up Shaqiri to slot home with his right foot past the exposed DeAndre Yedlin. However, Jonathan Dean’s handball shortly after enabled Miami’s Josef Martinez to convert a penalty and temporarily restore parity.

Despite hopes of building on their goal, the visitors remained vulnerable to Chicago’s counters. Herbers continued to carve open the defence, playing in Haile-Selassie to restore the lead. Just four minutes later, Haile-Selassie added his second, beating Yedlin and firing into the net.

Shaqiri then sealed the emphatic win, latching onto Gastón Giménez’s interception and adding his second with a left-footed finish. The defeat leaves Miami 14th in the East on 33 points from 31 games, needing to win their remaining fixtures to stand a chance of reaching the playoffs. Apart from Messi, Jordi Alba and Leonardo Campana also did not travel with the team.

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