Lionel Messi continued his incredible start to life at Inter Miami on Wednesday, scoring twice to help his team defeat Orlando City 3-1 in the League Cup.
In the seventh minute of the round of 32 encounter, Messi volleyed in a feed from Robert Taylor from close range to give Miami the lead.
However, the hosts’ lead would only last for ten minutes as South Florida fans once again filled DRV PNK Stadium to behold their Argentine hero before Cesar Araujo pounced on a stray ball and silenced the home crowd.
Even though the Argentinean scored again later in the game, his most notable performance that evening may have been an assist.
Josef Martinez was tripped over in the second half while pursuing a through pass from Benjamin Cremaschi.
As a result, Miami was able to regain a 2-1 lead in the 51st minute thanks to a goal from Venezuelan teammate Martinez after Messi deferred to him from the penalty spot.
The striker’s first goal since Messi moved to South Beach came after Martinez stammered his way to the penalty spot.
From that point on, Miami was in charge for the remainder of the match, and Messi sealed the victory in the 72nd minute by capping off another spectacular move.
The 36-year-old, who has already scored five goals in his first three games for Miami, added another goal with a close-range right-footed volley after Martinez set him up after yet another perfect cross from Taylor.
Although the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner’s strong start is not particularly shocking, it is noteworthy how his teammates’ play has improved as a result of his presence.
Taylor continued his blazing form against Orlando, contributing to his fifth goal in the last three games, while Cremaschi, a young midfielder who is just 18 years old, displayed maturity and wit in the middle of the field.
”He just gives everybody confidence around him,’ Messi’s teammate, full-back DeAndre Yedlin, told Apple’s MLS Season Pass after the game.”
Messi may be able to intimidate rivals on his own, but he had assistance when he landed in Miami.
Alongside him, Sergio Busquets made his Miami debut against Cruz Azul, while Jordi Alba, another ex-Barcelona colleague, made his Miami debut against Orlando.
Alba replaced Noah Allen in the game in the 64th minute and helped Miami finish the last 30 minutes.
With the victory, the hosts advanced to the League Cup round of 16, where they will play FC Dallas in Texas.
EXCLUSIVE: ALL Questions Asked: Peter Obi Live on Parallel Facts!
POPULAR THIS MONTH:
BIG STORY: INEC Disabling FCT Results