Lionel Messi Scores Two Goals as Inter Miami Defeats Orlando City in Leagues Cup

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi’s remarkable performances for Inter Miami CF continue on Wednesday night as he scored two goals in a 3-1 victory against hosts Orlando City SC in the Leagues Cup, helping his team advance to the Round of 16 in this inaugural competition.

Messi started the game brilliantly, controlling a high pass from Robert Taylor into the penalty box and volleying it past Orlando’s goalkeeper, Pedro Gallese, to give his team an early lead and score his fourth goal in the Leagues Cup.

Orlando responded ten minutes later through a goal from César Araujo in an increasingly intense first half, where Messi received a yellow card and Orlando’s Kyle Smith also got a warning from the referee just before halftime.

There was a confrontation between the World Cup champion and Araujo that continued after the whistle and went into the tunnel, with Messi visibly upset following the physical end to the first half.

Josef Martínez earned a penalty in the box after a foul by Orlando’s Antônio Carlos early in the second half, and Messi handed the penalty kick to his Miami teammate, allowing the former Atlanta United striker to do his duty and restore the home team’s lead.

Inter Miami had a scary moment early in the second half when Orlando’s Mauricio Pereyra collided with Messi. Messi remained on the ground, holding his jaw for several minutes before finally standing up.

Miami coach Gerardo Martino brought on newcomer Jordi Alba in the 63rd minute to make his MLS debut, reuniting the Barcelona defender with his former teammates Messi and Sergio Busquets in South Beach.

Shortly after, Messi scored his fifth goal since joining Miami, volleying in again to secure the victory, with an assist from Martinez through a brilliant chip pass just outside the six-yard box.

The Round of 32 match was scheduled to start at 8 PM ET, but was delayed by 90 minutes due to a severe lightning storm in the area.

Miami will face FC Dallas in the next round in Frisco, Texas, on August 6th, marking Messi’s first away game after joining the team.

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