Suárez scores but Messi-less Miami held to draw by NYCFC


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Luis Suárez of Inter Miami CF and Alonso Martínez of New York City FC exchanged first-half goals as the two teams played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday at Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

With the draw, NYCFC (1-4-1, 4 points) picked up a point for the first time since a March 16 victory over Toronto FC.

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Miami (3-2-2, 11 points) is now 2-2-1 against Eastern Conference opponents this season and 2-1-1 at home in MLS action.

Suarez had multiple second half opportunities to break the tie.

In the 56th minute, he finished a give-and-go with Jordi Alba, but New York keeper Matt Freese made a diving save on Suárez's left-footed strike from the center of the area.

Luis Suárez's goal wasn't enough to give Inter Miami victory against NYCFC.
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Then in the 66th minute, Gressel's cross was just out of Suarez's reach as the striker had an open shot at the goal.

In the 80th minute, Suárez picked up a touch pass from Marcelo Weigandt and had an excellent chance to break the tie, but Freese made a diving save and got enough of his hand on it to tip it wide.

The two sides exchanged early first half chances.

NYCFC's first shot on target came in the ninth minute, but Miami keeper Drake Callender made a diving save on Santiago Rodríguez's right-footed strike from just outside the area.

Three minutes later, David Ruiz's diving header was saved by Freese.

Suárez put Miami on the board by heading a Julian Gressel cross past Freese -- the Uruguayan striker's team-leading fifth goal. Gressel has four assists.

New York found the equalizer in the 34th minute as Keaton Parks sent a ball through for Martínez, who put a right-footed strike past Callender for his first MLS goal.

Miami was without Lionel Messi on Saturday. The Argentine missed the match due to a hamstring injury. Messi last played for Miami on March 13, when he left a 3-1 win over Nashville.

The club is hopeful Messi will return for Miami's Champions Cup game against Monterrey on Wednesday.