‘GOAT difference’ – 2 super goals, 2 assists, Lionel Messi helped Miami equalize 4-4 before a dramatic victory on penalties sent Miami into the quarterfinals of the Leagues Cup

Lionel Messi opened the scoring and then took a free kick to equalize 4-4, before Inter Miami beat Dallas 5-3 on a penalty shootout in the 1/8 round of the Leagues Cup.

Scores: Quignon 37, Kamungo 45, Velasco 63, Taylor owns 68 – Messi 6, 85 Cremaschi 65, Farfan owns 80

Messi contributed to all four goals, with two masterpieces, and the same bravery when he successfully kicked the first penalty shootout under the 40 degree Celsius heat in Texas. Miami’s away team was twice led by two goals, but still managed to regain it and eventually won on penalties. British newspaper Daily Mail commented: “Messi, you are not human”.

Messi, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba all started the first time with Inter Miami playing away in Dallas. These same three players contributed to the opening goal in the sixth minute, when Busquets deployed the ball, Alba returned from the left wing into the center for Messi to put his heart from outside the penalty area to the lower left corner into the net. Although playing away from home, the Argentine superstar seemed to be fully responded to by the Toyota stadium audience.

This goal has many similarities when Messi scored a 3-2 victory for Barca against Real in La Liga on April 23, 2017. But in his career he has also scored many goals in the same style, from Alba’s pass.

Messi also created no less than three good chances for teammates to finish in the first half, as in the 31st minute he poked a slot for Josef Martinez to face the keeper. Minutes later, Messi pulled the ball along the middle and passed it down to Robert Taylor to face the goalkeeper. But in both of these situations, Miami missed out.

The visitors paid the price for squandering the opportunity, when Dallas scored twice in the last eight minutes of the first half thanks to Facundo Quignon and Bernard Kamungo. The hosts also created more chances but it took 63 minutes to add a 3-1 lead, with Alan Velasco’s free kick.

This may be the hottest match of Lionel Messi’s career , at least 38 degrees Celsius, only 32% humidity, but full of drama. He played well and contributed to the goal to shorten the score to 23, with an armpit cut through the opponent’s legs to let Alba plunge into the penalty area. Former Barca defender passed back to Benjamin Cremaschi to hit the roof of Dallas.

The drama did not stop there, but also pushed up in the 68th minute when Taylor in an attempt to recoil in defense kicked an own goal, causing Miami to lead 2-4 again. The midfielder repeatedly muttered: “What the hell”, when he meant to blame goalkeeper Drake Callender for being too slow.

Taylor’s words can also play out the appeal of this match, because Miami has not surrendered there. In the 80th minute, Messi took a free kick from the left and defender Marco Farfan suddenly headed home, causing Dallas to concede the third goal.

Messi has shined many times in his career at decisive moments, but his teammates still had to hold their heads in amazement at what the captain did in the 85th minute. Taylor brought a free kick from a distance of more than 20 meters. , the angle to the right is quite narrow. However, Messi still managed to kick the free-kick over the fence, bringing the ball to the top corner to score. The entire 20,000 spectators on the field once again cheered for the visitors’ table.

In the penalty shootout, Messi took the first shot and he did not look at the goalkeeper as he ran. But at the moment of swinging his legs, the 36-year-old superstar looked up and then kicked in the direction of goalkeeper Maarten Paes. All five Miami players shot on, while midfielder Paxton Pomykal shot over the bar, causing the home team to fail.

After four games for Miami, Messi has scored seven goals, of which the last three he has scored twice. Tata Martino’s teachers and students will enter the quarterfinals against Houston Dynamo or Charlotte on August 11.

Starting lineup

Dallas : Maarten Paes; Geovane Jesus, Sebastien Ibeagha, Nkosi Tafari, Marco Farfan; Bernard Kamungo, Sebastian Lletget, Facundo Quignon, Jáder Obrian; Alan Velasco; Jesus Ferreira.

Inter Miami : Drake Callender; DeAndre Yedlin, Serhiy Kryvtsov, Kamal Miller, Jordi Alba; Dixon Arroyo, Sergio Busquets, Diego Gomez; Lionel Messi, Josef Martinez, Robert Taylor.

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