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Messi fires Inter Miami into Leagues Cup quarterfinals

2023 Aug 07, 13:40, WASHINGTON
Pic: AP

Lionel Messi scored twice as Inter Miami rallied from two goals down to beat FC Dallas on penalties and advance to the Leagues Cup quarterfinals on Sunday.

The Argentine World Cup winner opened the scoring in the oppressive Dallas heat by rifling home a long-range effort after combining with former Barcelona teammate Jordi Alba.

But the hosts posed a constant threat on the counterattack, and quick goals from Facundo Quignon and Bernard Kamungo saw them take a 2-1 lead at halftime.

Alan Velasco sent a free-kick into the bottom right corner after the restart as the Texan side looked set to end Inter Miami's impressive run of form since Messi's arrival last month.

Substitute Benjamin Cremaschi reduced the deficit with a first-time effort after Alba's cross, but Dallas restored their lead courtesy of a Robert Taylor own goal.

There was still life left in Inter Miami, however, and Marco Farfan gifted them their third goal by heading into his own net following Messi's floating free-kick to the far post.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner put his team on level terms with a sublime free-kick five minutes from time as the game went to penalties.

Messi made no mistake with the first kick of the shootout before Paxton Pomykal gave Inter Miami the advantage by missing with Dallas' second attempt.

18-year-old Cremaschi then converted the decisive penalty as the Florida outfit booked a place in the last eight.

Inter Miami, currently last in Major League Soccer's eastern conference, have now won four consecutive matches since Messi's arrival as a free agent in mid-July. The 36-year-old has been in inspired form with seven goals and one assist.

The Leagues Cup is an annual competition that includes teams from the United States, Mexico and Canada.


Lionel Messi Inter Miami FC Dallas Leagues Cup Jordi Alba Argentine World Cup Barcelona
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