Luis Suarez scored Inter Miami’s first goal at Riyadh’s Kingdom Arena on Monday, while Lionel Messi converted a penalty to further demonstrate the team’s skill. But the efforts were in vain, as Al Hilal of the Saudi Pro League won 4–3.
The game’s final goal, a header from Brazilian forward Malcom in the 88th minute, settled the score after Miami rallied from a 3-1 hole early in the second half to tie the score at 3-3.
In the tenth minute, Aleksandar Mitrovic, a former striker for Fulham and Serbian international, opened the score for Al Hilal with a deft side-footed finish past Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender after a well-executed offensive move.
After 13 minutes, Saudi international forward Abdullah Al-Hamdan increased Al Hilal’s lead to 2-0 by taking advantage of a poorly executed clearance by Miami defender Noah Allen.
In the 26th minute, Miami had a chance to respond when Sergio Busquets volleyed over from close range following an Al Hilal defensive blunder.
In the 34th minute, Miami’s perseverance paid off when Julian Gressel set up Luis Suarez for a goal that was first called back for offside but was subsequently confirmed by VAR, making the score 2-1.
Just before halftime, though, Al Hilal quickly regained their two-goal edge. When Miami’s goalie hurriedly attempted to clear the ball, Brazilian forward Michael nodded the ball in after Al-Hamdan fired a cross into the box.
After the interval, Miami showed resiliency by scoring two goals in short succession to even the score. In the 54th minute, Lionel Messi scored from a penalty kick; moments later, David Ruiz’s fierce goal made it 3-3.
The game was headed toward a draw until Malcom’s game-winning header in the 88th minute gave Al Hilal a 4-3 victory.
As part of Inter Miami’s preseason trip, the friendly helped the team get ready for the Major League Soccer season, which kicks off on February 21. The team’s next friendly is against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia. After that, they play matches in Hong Kong and Japan to round out their tour.