Tata Martino has explained why he made no substitutions against Monterrey, with Lionel Messi given 90 minutes in a Champions Cup losing cause.

Martino Why Miami Didn’t Rest Messi During Champions Cup Loss
Martino Why Miami Didn’t Rest Messi During Champions Cup Loss

The Herons headed to Mexico for the second leg of their quarter-final tie trailing 2-1 on aggregate.

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They had it all to do against Liga MX opposition, and ended up crashing out of the competition after suffering a 3-1 reversal on the road.

Uncharacteristic errors proved costly for Inter Miami, leading to the game slipping away from them before the hour mark – with Drake Callender presenting USMNT star Brandon Vazquez with the opening goal, before Jordi Alba was sent off 12 minutes from time.

Despite all of that, and with Messi still working his way back to full fitness after a hamstring injury, Martino opted to make no changes on the night.

He told reporters afterwards of that decision: “All the players we had on the bench were young players.

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“We were not in a situation to use them.

“I did not want to throw them into adverse conditions, so I felt it was best to finish the game with the players who started”.

United States international Julian Gressel added on a frustrating night for the Florida-based outfit: “It was disappointing to lose here and go out of the competition.

“We wanted to advance.

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“We knew Monterrey was a very good team and obviously a tough opponent.

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“They played really well and we made some mistakes that ultimately cost us.

“Hopefully we’ll learn from it and we can move on to the next competition and do well”.

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