Messi once again set the stadium on fire by converting a free kick to equalise in the 85th minute before Inter Miami triumphed over FC Dallas in a Leagues Cup elimination match. The goal bore a striking resemblance to Messi’s debut game for Inter Miami, where he sealed the deal with a stunning free kick from just outside the penalty area. In both instances, his shots eluded the goalkeeper’s reach and found the upper corner of the net, a display of his superb precision.
This time around, however, the Argentine legend positioned himself to the right of the net, outfoxing FC Dallas’ Maarten Paes at the near post. He replicated his strategy from the left when he help secure a 2-1 win against Mexican club Cruz Azul.
This result sent Inter Miami into the Leagues Cup quarters, where they will face the winners of the Charlotte FC/Houston match.
Messi’s last two-goal game happened during the initial Leagues Cup elimination match, an encounter that was delayed by a prolonged rainstorm in Florida, eventually resulting in a 3-1 victory over Orlando City.
Messi’s first goal came in the sixth minute, a left-footed strike from outsoide the penalty area. It was initially disallowed due to an offside call, but was later overturned upon review.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner and World Cup champion for Argentina has made a significant impact in all four of his matches for Inter Miami, scoring a total of seven goals. The club now has a flawless 4-0 record in the Leagues Cup after a nine-game winless streak in MLS matches before Messi’s arrival.
His first penalty kick was sent into the right corner, as Messi played a crucial role in the result. The game’s outcome hinged on Paxton Pomykal’s miss, which sailed over the crossbar during FC Dallas’ second attempt. Ultimately, Miami finished 5-3 in the shootout, with Benjamin Cremaschi sealing the deal after scoring in the 65th minute.
Although FC Dallas briefly took a 4-2 lead through Robert Taylor’s own goal in the 68th minute, they promptly conceded an own goal in the 80th minute. Marco Farfan inadvertently directed a header into his own net from Messi’s free kick delivered from the left corner of the penalty box. In a crucial moment of redemption, Taylor drew a foul from Eugene Ansah, setting the stage for Messi to level the score.
FC Dallas staged a comeback with goals from Facundo Quignon and Bernard Kamungo in the first half, erasing the 1-0 deficit incurred from Messi’s early goal. Argentine Alan Velasco extended the lead to 3-1 with a well-placed free kick that beat defenders and goalkeeper Drake Callender in the 63rd minute.
Cremaschi’s swift response brought Inter Miami within striking distance, narrowing the gap to one goal and setting the stage for an exhilarating finale. Messi played a pivotal role in Cremaschi’s goal, initiating a pass that Jordi Alba prevented from crossing the goal line before relaying it to Cremaschi.