Enlarge image

Messi (l) and Inter Miami miss out on the championship


Superstar Lionel Messi and his club Inter Miami missed the playoffs in Major League Soccer. Miami lost 0-1 (0-0) to Cincinnati FC on Saturday night. Due to the 17th defeat of the season, Miami can no longer make it into the championship round two games before the end of the regular season.

Messi had missed five of the previous six games due to an old scar. In that time, Miami managed only one more win and a draw. The Argentina World Cup winner came on as a 55th-minute substitute to thunderous applause from fans, but failed to score for the fourth successive league game after scoring in a 2-0 win over the New York Red Bulls on his MLS debut.

In total, Messi has scored twelve goals in 13 league and cup games so far. However, it could have been Messi's last appearance in MLS this season, especially as he is challenged with the Albiceleste in World Cup qualifying on 12 and 17 October.

Miami falls short of expectations as Rooney resigns as Washington coach

Messi was fouled just four minutes after coming on as a substitute, but his subsequent free-kick from 25 yards went wide of the target. Álvaro Barreal gave the visitors the lead in the 78th minute. In stoppage time, Messi had another chance to equalise with a free-kick, but this shot also missed the target by a wide margin.

"As far as the injury is concerned, he's fine. There are no problems," said Inter coach Gerardo Martino: "Since he hasn't played recently, he obviously lacked rhythm. That's why he played 35 minutes."

"Honestly, I expected the exact opposite of what happened," said Martino, who took over as coach in Miami in June. "My expectations were to build the club and qualify for the playoffs."

Meanwhile, former England international striker Wayne Rooney announced his resignation as manager of DC United. The 37-year-old thus drew the consequences of missing the playoffs. "It's the right time. I did everything I could to get the club into the playoffs," said Rooney, whose team will have to watch from the sidelines despite a 2-0 (1-0) win against New York City in the hot phase of the season.