Lionel Messi defies belief with four-goal role in stunning Inter Miami comeback

Inter Miami beat FC Dallas on penalties to reach the quarter-finals of the Leagues Cup with Lionel Messi scoring a brace, including yet another free-kick, to inspire his team to victory

Lionel Messi dragged Inter Miami from the brink of Leagues Cup elimination with a sensational individual performance, and brace, to keep David Beckham’s trophy dream alive and reach the quarter-finals.

After a fairytale start to life in the United States for the Argentine, it seemed his honeymoon period was coming to an end with Miami 4-2 down to Dallas at one point on Sunday evening at the Toyota Stadium. But playing a role in all four of Miami’s goals, including another jaw-dropping free-kick and scoring a penalty in the shootout, Messi proved once again why he is the best player on the planet.

Messi started the game alongside fellow summer recruits Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba. And it was through the former Barcelona full-back that Messi opened the scoring, running on to Alba’s pass to produce a superb, low strike into the bottom corner.

Despite a dominant half for the visitors, Dallas levelled the contest in the 43rd minute through Facundo Quignon. And moments later Dallas found themselves ahead at the break after Bernard Kumungo made it 2-1. The Texas team extended their lead in the second half through Alan Velasco to put themselves into a truly commanding position. But that didn’t stop Messi.

The forward played a key role in Miami’s second, with his pinpoint through ball finding an overlapping Alba to cut the ball back to Benjamin Cremaschi to smash home. An unfortunate Robert Taylor own goal to put the score at 4-2 didn’t deter Messi, whose set piece 12 minutes later was bizarrely headed into his own net by Dallas player Marco Fafan.

And then came the real moment of magic. In eerily similar fashion to his debut, Messi stepped up around 30 yards out to put a free-kick in the top corner and beyond a scrambling Maarten Paes. Despite the exuberant scenes, Messi urged his players to get the ball back and resume play as quickly as possible.

Messi did have another chance from a set piece in the dying seconds of the game but, even for the greatest player of all time, scoring two proved too much.

Source: Mirror