Lionel Messi and his Inter Miami teammates got into a heated altercation with the Monterrey coach, setting the stage for a fiery rematch.

Even without the Argentine, Inter Miami looked like the superior club for an hour of Wednesday’s match. But losing a player in the Champions Cup quarterfinal home match against Mexican powerhouse Monterrey cost them 2-1.

In the 65th minute, Miami midfielder David Ruiz was sent off for a second yellow card for an unnecessary foul. Thus, Monterrey scored twice in the ensuing play. In the 69th minute, Maximiliano Meza broke the deadlock for the Mexican side playing away. Then before the final whistle, Jorge Rodriguez scored the match-winner.

Since Messi strained his hamstring in the Champions Cup match against Nashville on March 13, he has missed four consecutive games. Coach Tata Martino rested many important players, including him, for the match against Montreal on March 10.

Thanks to him, the squad has gone perfect in five games this season. However, without him, they have dropped three in a row. Nonetheless, the injury didn’t stop the 36-year-old from making headlines in Mexico.

Messi and Inter Miami take issue with Monterrey

Messi allegedly lost his temper after the match. Reportedly, Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba, Tata Martino and Messi got into an altercation with Monterrey staff and match officials after the match.

Fernando Schwart of FOX reports that Messi and company went to the referee’s office to voice their disapproval of many calls during a closely contested match. Additionally, they disagreed with Monterrey coach Ortiz’s remarks about perceived partiality made before the game.

“Everything surrounding Messi can influence both sporting and non-sporting decisions. Obviously, I don’t know if it harms us, but the business doesn’t favor us [Monterrey]. Sportingly, we’ll win. After that, I can’t control other things,” the 46-year-old coach said previously.

The incident then escalated into a brawl in the locker room between the two sides. In addition, Monterrey had asked CONCACAF for a report outlining all of the occurrences, both on and off the field.

The Rayados have thus formally complained about the Herons to CONCACAF, according to TUDN. Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba, two players for Inter Miami who sided with Messi in the argument, are also included in the case.

Monterrey hopes to get the matter resolved before the second game of the series, which is scheduled for April 10 in Mexico. They are pursuing punishment against the club and Tata Martino’s players. Indeed, if charged with specific offenses, it may affect Inter Miami’s performance in the second leg.

Monterrey coach says Champions Cup is still wide up for grabs

Ortíz addressed a query over the veteran’s absence after critically evaluating his team’s performance in Fort Lauderdale. But he left out any reference to the supposed event.

“I have said it, and I will say it again. I consider him to be the best player in the world of all time. Unfortunately, he couldn’t be here tonight. I hope he’s back for the return leg and I can enjoy it. It is up to us to make sure we are in the next round, the series is still wide open.”