VAR drama saves Inter Miami blushes in draw against St. Louis

A late VAR intervention saved Lionel Messi (36) and Inter Miami from falling to a second straight home defeat on Saturday as the Eastern Conference leaders battled to a 3-3 draw with St.Louis.

Inter, upset at home by Atlanta on Wednesday, appeared to be heading for another costly loss after a 68th-minute Luis Suarez own goal left St.Louis 3-2 up heading into the final minutes.

But with time running out, Miami substitute Julian Gressel's long ball found Jordi Alba running into space and the Barcelona man tucked away the finish to the relief of Miami's packed Chase Stadium crowd.

VAR drama saves Inter Miami blushes in draw against St. Louis

The goal was initially chalked off however after being flagged for offside but an intervention from VAR official Daniel Radford sent referee Allen Chapman to the monitor.

Replays appeared to show Alba was just onside and the goal stood to ensure Miami secured a share of the points.

There was still time for Miami to come within a whisker of snatching a dramatic win but Marcelo Weigandt's thumping late strike was superbly parried away by St.Louis goalkeeper Roman Burki.

The result was hard on St. Louis, who took the lead on three occasions only for Miami to battle back for a fortuitous draw.

Midfielder Chris Durkin fired St.Louis into the lead after 15 minutes, swiveling on the edge of the area to unleash a ferocious shot into the top corner past Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender.

Messi then worked his magic to get Miami back on level terms in the 25th minute, wrongfooting the St.Louis defence before passing to Alba on the flank. Alba's return cross was met by Messi who swept in a low finish to make it 1-1.

Former Miami player Indiana Vassilev put St. Louis 2-1 up in the 41st minute to round off a sweeping counter-attack, but Miami hit back before half-time.

Another fine Messi run released Alba, whose low cross flew across the face of goal to be tucked away by Suarez at a tight angle.

But Suarez was left hanging his head midway through the second half after Durkin's flick from a setpiece cannoned off the Uruguayan and into the Miami net to leave St.Louis 3-2 up.

That looked like being enough for victory but the late VAR drama rescued Miami, who remain top of the Eastern Conference standings with 35 points from 18 games.

Cincinnati are two points behind Miami but have played two games fewer.


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