Inter Miami 2-0 Real Salt Lake: Lionel Messi & Luis Suarez Pop Up With Timely Assists To Secure Win In MLS Opener

Lionel Messi Provides Assist As Inter Miami Snatch First MLS Win
Lionel Messi Provides Assist As Inter Miami Snatch First MLS Win

Inter Miami welcomed Real Salt Lake to the newly christened Chase Stadium for the first game of the 2024 Major League Soccer (MLS) campaign. With Miami securing only one win in their seven pre-season matches in 2024, many had reservations about the condition of Lionel Messi’s team. The doubts were soon allayed, as the hosts started dominating proceedings from the get-go and ultimately walked away with a deserved 2-0 victory.

Robert Taylor & Diego Gomez Shine, Luis Suarez Claims Assist In Competitive Debut For Inter Miami

Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino fielded a strong starting XI for the MLS opener on Wednesday night (February), featuring Barcelona quartet Lionel Messi, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, and debutant Luis Suarez. Inter Miami started brightly, drawing cheers from fans with their slick passes and sharp movement. Only a minute into the game, Suarez lobbed the ball into the Real Salt Lake penalty box, hoping to find his teammate Messi. Much to the displeasure of home fans, Messi could not get on the end of the pass.

Fifteen minutes later, Messi went for goal with a sweetly struck free-kick. Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Zac MacMath was beaten, but a defender popped up with a timely headed clearance to keep his team from going behind. Following a couple more attempts, the Herons finally got their breakthrough in the 39th minute, with Robert Taylor claiming the first goal of the 2024 MLS season. Messi found the Finnish winger with a slide-rule pass, and he found the back of the net with a cool finish.

Real Salt Lake created a few presentable opportunities in the second half. However, they failed to apply the finishing touch. Having withstood the pressure, Inter Miami finally put the game to bed in the 83rd minute. Receiving the ball from Messi, Suarez directed it into Diego Gomez’s path. The 20-year-old promptly got his shot away and found the bottom-left corner.

Lionel Messi Was The Man Of The Match In MLS Opener

Lionel Messi was not on the scoresheet against Real Salt Lake, but he was easily Miami’s standout performer. Messi was at the heart of everything positive on Wednesday. He carried the ball gracefully, passed it around without breaking a sweat, and created chances at will. Not only did he create Taylor’s goal with his through ball, but he also prompted Miami’s second of the night. The Barcelona legend barged into the final third from deep, leaving a couple of defenders in his wake before laying it off to Suarez.

Throughout the game, the Inter Miami skipper created four chances, tested the keeper twice, played 13 passes into the final third, won four duels, and drew two fouls. Talk about leading from the front!

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