Home sport Lionel Messi scores the winning goal on his debut for Inter Miami Fox News

Lionel Messi scores the winning goal on his debut for Inter Miami Fox News

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Lionel Messi made a great start to his final chapter in American football, scoring the winning goal at the last second from a free kick on his debut for Inter Miami, lifting his new club to a 2-1 victory over Cruz Azul in the opening match of the League Cup for both sides.

Miami, which took Messi off the bench because he’s only had three full training sessions with the team so far, was sometimes outclassed by visiting Mexico on Friday during the match in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Even the Argentine superstar, who won the World Cup a few months ago and was awarded the Ballon d’Or for the best player in the world seven times, had only sporadic chances.

But after fouling himself seven yards from the penalty area, Messi’s excellent free kick with his left foot deflected into the defensive wall and goalkeeper Andrés Godino into the top left corner.

According to ESPN.com, “I knew it was the last chance,” Messi said of his free kick. “I tried as I always do and luckily the goalkeeper couldn’t get the ball back.

“It is important for this team to win because we are not in a good position in the league. I know it is another championship, but it will encourage us.”

Robert Taylor also scored for Miami just before halftime to give the Herons a great start in a three-team group that also includes Atlanta United, as part of a competition that includes all 47 teams in MLS and Liga MX.

Former LA Galaxy winger Uriel Antona equalized in the 65th minute for Cruz Azul, making it 18-12 on aggregate and 8-6 on goal.

Drake Callendar made seven saves for Miami to help them earn the three points, including two crucial early saves that kept the game level and allowed Taylor to put the Heron ahead.

After Antona scored the excellent equalizer, Messi fell into an offside position at the apparent equalizer, and striker Josef Martinez was in a similar position in another.

But there was no doubt about Messi’s long-range victory, who swooped around the defensive wall in the style of ex-England star David Beckham, co-owner of Miami, famously.

“It’s a common occurrence for him, you know,” said Inter Miami coach Tata Martino. “It looks completely normal, but it’s not… We’re talking about goats.”

It was a bunch of goats at Messi’s first game: LeBron James and Serena Williams were there — like Messi in soccer, they’re in the “greatest conversation ever” when it comes to NBA and tennis.

Music legends Gloria and Emilio Estefan appeared, as did Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and Kim Kardashian.

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