Messi's Heroics Propel Inter Miami to Thrilling Quarter-Final Draw in League Cup
The match ended with only half an hour remaining, as Inter Miami trailed 3-1 in goals against. At such a critical moment, a team can rely on a player they trust, and for Miami, that was Lionel Messi. In the final quarter-final of the league cup, Messi lifted Inter Miami by scoring a fantastic free-kick in the 85th minute to equalize.
The match went to a tiebreaker in extra time. In the penalty shootout, Inter Miami emerged victorious with a 5-3 score, securing a place in the quarter-finals of the league cup.
This match, played at Dallas' Toyota Stadium, marked Messi's first away match in Inter Miami's jersey. The Argentine star continued his goal-scoring streak, netting five goals in his previous three matches. In just six minutes into the match, Messi unleashed a powerful shot from outside the box to score his fastest goal for Miami. However, Miami couldn't maintain their early lead.
In the closing moments of the first half, Dallas scored two goals within eight minutes, with Fakundo Quignon and Bernard Kamungo finding the net in the 37th and 45th minutes, respectively.
Dallas FC held onto their lead at the end of the first half and maintained their position even as Miami launched successive attacks. In the 63rd minute, Dallas scored their third goal. Alan Velasco, an 18-year-old Argentine winger, scored from a free-kick, widening the gap to 3-2.
Just five minutes later, Miami staged another dramatic moment in the match. This time, Miami midfielder Robert Taylor caught Dallas off guard with a skillful ball into the net. However, Dallas couldn't be denied, and in the 80th minute, Marco Farfan gave them a gift by scoring an own goal.
Messi, although credited with an assist, could argue that he had a role in the goal. He headed the ball into the net from a measured free-kick, narrowing the scoreline to 4-3.
In need of an equalizing goal, Messi delivered once again, this time in the 85th minute. A well-placed free-kick from just outside the box found its way past Dallas' post, leveling the score at 4-4.
Despite the valiant efforts from both teams, the match ended in a thrilling 4-4 draw.