Lionel Messi has been unstoppable lately and he continued what he does best as Inter Miami beat FC Dallas 5-3 via penalty shootouts to reach the quarterfinal of the Leagues Cup.
As a culmination of Messi’s efforts throughout, came the turning point of the match in the 84th minute, when Miami was awarded a free-kick at a dangerous position. That’s when the Argentine decided to turn the game on its head as he slotted a curler right at the top right corner as Miami did the unthinkable to draw level after being 1-3 down at one point.
Inter Miami went as the favourite to win the clash at the Toyota stadium in Texas and rightly so, newly appointed skipper Messi, gave an early lead for his side in the sixth minute.
But what followed was nothing short of a horror show from Tata Martino’s men as they were left reeling 1-2 at half time, as Dallas scored two goals in the span of 10 minutes.
The trend continued in the second 45 minutes as well. Dallas doubled the lead as Alan Velasco headed home a well-directed free-kick in the 62nd minute. But Miami stabilised after Benjamin Cremaschi pulled one back, finding the back of the net just minutes after his substitution.
When Miami thought it could manage to pull off at least a draw, Robert Taylor was at the wrong place at the wrong time as his attempted sliding clearance resulted in an own goal.
Messi’s side surged at the right time, 10 minutes before the full-time whistle. The Messi-Sergio Busquets-Jordi Alba trio kept testing the defense, which eventually led to an own goal from the other side as well when Jefferson Farfan headed Messi’s attempted-cross in the wrong direction.
Dallas looked down and out after Messi’s goal and the game went into penalties, where all the five Miami players scored while Paxton Pmykal’s miss proved costly for the home side.
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