Inter Miami defeats
Inter Miami defeats FC Dallas in a penalty shootout in the Leagues Cup.
Lionel Messi scored on another spectacular free kick in Inter Miami’s third consecutive two-goal game.
Thousands of football fans jammed into a stadium in the blazing Texas heat stood and held up their cell phones as Lionel Messi set up for a free kick in his first trip game for Inter Miami.
They all received a video of history repeating itself.
Messi scored on another dazzling free kick in Inter Miami’s third consecutive two-goal game, a tying goal that led to a penalty kick triumph over FC Dallas in a Leagues Cup elimination game Sunday, August 6 night.
Messi’s goal in the 85th minute to tie the game at 4-4 was similar to the game-winner in his Inter Miami debut, both coming on free kicks from well beyond the penalty box in the dying stages and slipping past the goalkeeper into the upper corner of the net.
This time, the left-footed superstar beat FC Dallas’ Maarten Paes to the near post, just as he did in his Inter Miami debut, a 2-1 victory over Mexican club Cruz Azul.
I don’t think there’s much to say. FC Dallas coach Nico Estévez stated, “I think everyone can see.” It’s evident that a free kick around there is equivalent to a penalty kick for him. You have to hope that the ball goes out of bounds or that he falls while running to kick the ball.
Inter Miami sweeps into the quarterfinals.
The victory in the round of 16 advanced Inter Miami to the League Cup quarterfinals, where they will face the winner of Monday night’s match between Charlotte FC and Houston.
Messi’s second consecutive two-goal game came in the first League Cup knockout game, a 3-1 Miami triumph against Orlando City that was delayed by an hour and a half due to a torrential thunderstorm in Florida.
On the 14th straight day of triple-digit heat in the Dallas area, Messi’s fifth match in Texas had a kickoff temperature of 100 degrees (38 degrees Celsius).
Teams took a heat break towards the midway point of each half due to the high temperatures.
Messi’s first goal for his new club outside of Florida came in the sixth minute, a left-footed strike beyond the penalty area off a cross from former FC Barcelona colleague Jordi Alba. It was first disallowed due to an offsides call that was later overturned on appeal.
Argentina’s seven-time Ballon d’Or winner and World Cup champion has scored seven goals in four games for Inter Miami. His new club in the United States is 4-0 — all in the League Cup — after going winless in nine consecutive MLS matches prior to his arrival.
We are really happy to be moving on, and these types of games assist us to continue to improve as a squad and correct our mistakes, said Miami coach Gerardo Martino through an interpreter. We still have a long way to go to reach the level we desire, but in the end, I am delighted we won.
Messi took the first penalty kick, taking his time before firing into the right corner. The difference was Paxton Pomykal’s miss over the crossbar on FC Dallas’ second effort.
Benjamin Cremaschi scored the game-winning goal in the 65th minute, as Miami won the shootout 5-3.
FC Dallas took a 4-2 lead on Robert Taylor’s own goal in the 68th minute, but Dallas responded with an own goal in the 80th minute. On a free kick from outside the left corner of the penalty box, Marco Farfan headed home a cross from Messi.
Soon after, Taylor was fouled by Eugene Ansah, setting up Messi for a replay that enraged the 19,096-strong crowd.
The first one was seen at home by Miami co-owner David Beckham 17 days ago. He was there for this one as well, in a stadium where tickets that ordinarily cost around $40 were selling for hundreds of dollars, and in some cases, more than $1,000.
FC Dallas erased a 1-0 deficit following Messi’s early strike with goals from Facundo Quignon and Bernard Kamungo in the first half.
Alan Velasco, an Argentine who grew up idolizing Messi, made it 3-1 in the 63rd minute with a soaring free kick that escaped multiple players and keeper Drake Callender.
“Today, I realized one of my biggest dreams,” Velasco, 20, said. “After years of watching him play, it was such a surreal experience to finally share the field with him.”
Cremaschi drew Inter Miami within a goal two minutes after Velasco scored, setting up the crazy conclusion. Messi contributed to Cremaschi’s goal by sending a pass that Alba intercepted before giving to Cremaschi.
Having players like Messi here would help our players improve, Estévez remarked of Messi. When confronted with this level of difficulty, you must do better. And you can see how several of our players raised their game today at FC Dallas.