Lionel Messi’s goal-scoring streak continues, as does Inter Miami’s winning streak.
With a goal in the 86th minute, Messi continued his scoring streak with his new club, scoring eight times in five games, as Inter Miami crushed Charlotte 4-0 in the League Cup quarter-final on Friday night.
Messi was unstoppable against Miami, scoring in every game. The star who won the Ballon d’Or seven times and guided Argentina to the World Cup title last year, has never been defeated by Miami, who won all their five games in the League Cup, a tournament that the clubs organized. It’s a 47-team competition from MLS and Mexico’s top league, and now only four teams remain.
Messi and his new team have a big challenge ahead: on Tuesday, they will face either Queretaro from Mexico or Philadelphia Union in the semifinal.
Charlotte almost finds a way to keep him off the scoresheet.
Josep Martinez and Robert Thomas also scored for Inter Miami, with some intense pressure from Messi late in the second half leading to another own goal and then Messi providing the perfect clincher in the dying minutes.
At 22,000-seat DRV PNK Stadium, the team appeared close to another sellout, even on a night when the South Florida sports scene was packed. There’s a lot of action for Miami sports lovers. The Dolphins start their preseason at home, the Marlins take on the Yankees at their stadium, and Heat sensation Tyler Herro competes in a crowded gym in the Pro-Am League championship.
But as expected, Messi’s frenzy continued. And fans once again cheering in those new pink number 10 jerseys, a far cry from what life was like for Inter Miami supporters before the start of the Messi era.
Before Messi: Inter Miami has won five of its 22 MLS matches this season.
With Messi: Inter Miami have won five of their League Cup matches and are now just two wins away from the trophy.
Messi had his first good chance 30 minutes into the match when some excellent short passes on the left side of the box found him from 6 yards. His shot was cleared by Charlotte goalkeeper Kristian Kahlina to keep the lead 1–0.
Little did anyone know that Inter Miami already had all the offense it needed.
In the 69th minute, Messi gave a pass to Taylor, who returned it and had a clear shot at the goal – but he missed from about 12 yards in the center of the box.
All Messi could do was smile and look up at the sky.
Martinez gave Inter Miami the lead with a spot kick in the 12th minute after Arroyo was fouled in the box. When Inter Miami failed to call Charlotte for a handball, the foul was argued to have resulted in a penalty kick.
It was 2–0 in the 32nd minute when Taylor took DeAndre Yedlin’s pass at the top of the box and sent Vishal Kahleena a one-timer. Yedlin got a pass on the right side, waited for Taylor—who showed him where to put the ball—and delivered it to the ideal place for his second goal of the night.
An own goal made the score 3-0 and Messi won.