Inter Miami managed to keep their slim playoff hopes alive with a hard-fought draw vs. Orlando City, despite the absence of the injured Lionel Messi, reported by GOAL.

The match ended in a 1-1 draw, with both teams sharing the points. Miami took the lead early in the second half when David Ruiz found the back of the net in the 52nd minute. It was a significant moment for Ruiz, marking his second career goal in his 17th senior appearance for his hometown club. His goal was the result of being in the right place at the right time, as he pounced on a rebound right in front of the goal.

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However, Orlando City fought back and managed to level the score in the 66th minute, with Duncan MaGuire finding the back of the net. It was a missed opportunity for Orlando City, who could have gained bragging rights in this budding rivalry by securing a win over their local rivals, Miami.

The result came as Lionel Messi was sidelined due to injury, leaving Inter Miami without their star player. Despite his absence, the team showed resilience and determination, earning a valuable point in their quest for a playoff spot.

Inter Miami's playoff hopes hang by a thread, but this draw keeps them in contention as they head into a critical stretch of their season. The Herons will now shift their focus to the upcoming U.S. Open Cup final, where they will face FC Cincinnati on Wednesday. It's a crucial fixture for Inter Miami, and they will be looking to secure silverware as they continue to fight for a spot in the MLS playoffs.