Lionel Messi scored an incredible brace to help Inter Miami seal a dramatic victory against FC Dallas to attain the quarter-final of the League Cup on Sunday, 6th of August, 2023.
The former FC Barcelona captain pushed Inter Miami from the edge of League Cup elimination with an extraordinary performance and scored two goals to keep the Major League Soccer Club trophy dream alive.
The former Paris Saint Germain forward had a dreamy beginning to his life in the United States, but it appeared his good time was coming to an end on Sunday night at the Toyota Stadium when Miami fell behind Dallas 4-2 at one point.
Lionel Messi’s performance for Inter Miami against FC Dallas
Lionel Messi demonstrated once more why he is the best player in football by contributing to all four of Miami’s goals, scoring a penalty in the shootout, and taking another jaw-dropping free kick.
Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, two other summer signings, also started the game alongside Lionel Messi.
Messi opened the score sheet by converting a fantastic low effort into the bottom corner after latching onto Alba’s ball.
Dallas’ Facundo Quignon leveled the score in the 43rd minute despite the visitors’ dominating first half.
Bernard Kumungo made it 2-1 just a few moments later, giving Dallas the lead going into the break. With the help of Alan Velasco, the Texas team widened their lead late in the game to establish a dominant lead. But Messi was unaffected by that.
The attacker was crucial to Miami’s second goal when his precise through ball found an overlapping Alba who then passed it back to Benjamin Cremaschi and put the ball at the back of the net.
Despite an awful own goal by Robert Taylor, Messi’s set piece was oddly headed into his own net by Dallas midfielder Marco Fafan 12 minutes later.
The actual magical moment then occurred. Messi walked up from about 30 yards out and fired a free kick past a fumbling Maarten Paes into the top corner, in a similar fashion to his debut.
Despite the vociferous circumstances, Messi urged his team to recover the ball and start playing as soon as possible.
Messi scored an 85th-minute equalizer from a free kick to square the score at 4-4 before Miami won on penalties after scoring the game’s first goal with his left foot from outside the penalty area.
Lionel Messi put on yet another outstanding performance in Dallas, and after only four games, he has already surpassed Inter Miami’s leading goal scorer for the year.
Even for the greatest player of all time, scoring twice proved to be too much. Messi did have one more opportunity from a set piece in the last seconds of the game.
The Leagues Cup game ended without extra time and went straight to penalties. Messi took the first position and did it flawlessly, leading from the front in his capacity as captain.
Paxton Pomykal of Dallas was overwhelmed by the moment and sent his shot high over the bar. Dallas was eliminated from the tournament as a result of his crucial miss.
Messi has now scored seven goals and contributed one assist in four games. Additionally, he has recorded four victories and four man of the match performance. And he doesn’t appear to be slowing down.
The Leagues Cup, which began in 2019 and has American and Mexican teams competing in a knockout format, features Inter Miami as the first club to secure a place in the quarterfinals.
After scoring seven goals in four Leagues Cup contests for the MLS team, Lionel Messi is officially Inter Miami’s leading scorer in 2023.
In the League Cup, Messi has been in outstanding form for Miami. He scored a back-to-back brace against Atlanta United and Orlando City after tying the score with a free-kick against Cruz Azul on his debut.
What’s next for Lionel Messi?
The 2022 FIFA World Cup winner will once again be in action for the Major League Soccer outfit against Charlotte on Monday, 21st of August, 2023.