Mesmerizing Messi Leads Inter Miami to Commanding 4-0 Victory in Leagues Cup Quarterfinals

Lionel Messi’s impressive streak of goal-scoring remains unbroken, paralleling Inter Miami’s string of victories.

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In the 86th minute, Messi struck again, securing his eighth goal within five matches since joining his new club. Inter Miami confidently sailed past Charlotte with a resounding 4-0 triumph in a Leagues Cup quarterfinal match on Friday evening.

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Throughout all five of his appearances with Miami, Messi has consistently found the net. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, celebrated for leading Argentina to World Cup glory last year, has yet to experience defeat with Miami. Remarkably, he has emerged victorious in every single one of his five Leagues Cup encounters so far. This tournament brings together 47 teams from both MLS and Mexico’s premier league, and it’s now down to the final four contenders.

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Looking ahead, Messi and his new club are set to face off in a semifinal showdown on Tuesday, against either the Mexican club Querétaro or the Philadelphia Union.

Charlotte nearly managed to prevent Messi from adding to the scoresheet. Nearly.

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Contributions weren’t solely limited to Messi, as Josef Martinez and Robert Thomas also found the back of the net for Inter Miami. A well-placed cross by Messi created pressure that led to an own goal, further extending the lead. Eventually, Messi concluded the match with a perfectly timed goal in the closing moments.

Despite a night filled with other major sporting events in South Florida, including the Miami Dolphins’ preseason opener, a Miami Marlins game against the New York Yankees, and a pro-am league championship game featuring Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro, Messi’s aura remained strong. As expected, Messi-mania persisted, leaving fans sporting the new pink No. 10 jerseys elated once again. This was a remarkable departure from the state of Inter Miami’s supporters before the Messi era began.

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Before Messi’s arrival, Inter Miami had secured victory in merely five out of their 22 MLS matches this season.

With Messi in their ranks, Inter Miami has emerged victorious in all five of their Leagues Cup matches. They now stand just two wins away from clinching the trophy.

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In the 30th minute, Messi had his first promising opportunity, benefiting from some deft short passes on the left side of the box. However, his attempt from approximately 6 yards out was thwarted by Charlotte goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina, preserving a then 1-0 lead.

Little did anyone realize that Inter Miami had already amassed all the offensive prowess they required.

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Another notable chance arose in the 69th minute, as Messi set up Taylor with a pass, regained possession, and faced an open net. Regrettably, his attempt from around 12 yards out, right in the heart of the box, was deflected away.

All Messi could do was look upwards, accompanied by a wry smile.

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Inter Miami’s opening goal arrived in the 12th minute through Martinez, who converted a penalty kick after Dixon Arroyo was brought down inside the box. This foul followed Inter Miami’s unsuccessful appeal for a handball by Charlotte, which could have led to another penalty kick.

The score advanced to 2-0 in the 32nd minute, as Taylor received a pass from DeAndre Yedlin near the top of the box and unleashed a well-timed shot that ricocheted off the hand of the sprawling Kahlina. Yedlin received the ball on the right wing, patiently waited for Taylor—indicating where he wanted the ball—and accurately delivered it to that exact spot to set up the second goal of the night.

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The own goal increased the lead to 3-0, ultimately paving the way for Messi to seal the victory.

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