Lionel Messi Scores Stunning Long-Ranger As Inter Miami Move To Leagues Cup Final

Lionel Messi Joined MLS Side Inter Miami In July
Lionel Messi Joined MLS Side Inter Miami In July

Lionel Messi extended his scoring run to five games on Tuesday (August 15), netting a stunning goal in Inter Miami’s Leagues Cup semi-final win over Philadelphia Union. His friend and teammate, Jordi Alba, also found the back of the net in the Herons’ emphatic 4-1 victory at Subaru Park.

Lionel Messi And Josef Martinez Gave Inter Miami A Dream Start

Coming off a massive 4-0 win over Charlotte FC in the quarter-finals, Inter Miami found themselves in the driving seat just three minutes into their semi-final clash with Philadelphia Union. Striker Josef Martinez chased the ball down on the right side of the box and applied a sure-footed finish to find the bottom-left corner of the hosts’ goal.

Miami were two goals to the good just 17 minutes later, with Lionel Messi bagging his ninth goal in only six games. The 36-year-old was left unmarked by Philadelphia defenders, which allowed him to have a go at goal from 30 yards out. The Philadelphia keeper was caught off-guard and failed to keep Messi’s strike from nestling into the bottom-right corner.

Gerardo Martino’s side pulled further ahead in first-half stoppage time when Alba decided to join the goal-fest. Robert Taylor sent an accurate through ball for Alba to chase down the left flank. Getting on the ball, the 34-year-old cut inside and let fly from the edge of the box. Philadelphia goalkeeper Andre Blake watched helplessly as the ball wound up at the back of his net.

19-Year-Old David Ruiz Ensured Emphatic Win For Miami

Philadelphia improved markedly in the second half and even got themselves a goal back through substitute Alejandro Bedoya in the 72nd minute. Unfortunately for them, Miami’s academy graduate David Ruiz spoiled their chances of a comeback. Coming off the bench in the 74th minute, the 19-year-old scored Miami’s fourth goal in the 84th minute.

Latching on to DeAndre Yedlin’s layoff on the right, Ruiz rolled the ball past the onrushing keeper to make it 4-1 for Inter Miami. The goal took the wind out of Philadelphia’s sails and they failed to create anything of note in the final stretch of the Leagues Cup semi-final.

Apart from the shootout win over FC Dallas in the round-of-16, Inter Miami have looked fairly comfortable in the Leagues Cup. With Lionel Messi displaying blistering form, they will very much fancy their chances in Saturday’s (August 19) Leagues Cup final against Nashville SC. It will be interesting to see if Messi can fire Miami to their first-ever trophy just seven games into his debut campaign in America.

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