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Messi inspires Inter Miami to victory in MLS season opener

Published:

NEW DELHI:

Lionel Messi

orchestrated both goals in a dazzling display as

Inter Miami

commenced the new

Major League Soccer

season with a commanding 2-0 triumph over

Real Salt Lake

on Wednesday.
The Argentine maestro, who showcased his enduring brilliance throughout the entire match, dispelled any doubts about his fitness with a stellar performance under the helm of Gerardo “Tata” Martino.

Facing off against a cautious Real Salt Lake side, Messi came agonizingly close to breaking the deadlock in the 18th minute with a sublime curling free-kick from 30 yards out, only to be denied by a headed clearance off the line by Justen Glad.
However, Inter Miami surged ahead when Spanish midfielder Sergio Busquets linked up with Messi, who astutely threaded a pass to Finnish forward Robert Taylor. Taylor’s composed finish eluded RSL goalkeeper Zac MacMath, putting Miami in the lead.

Despite Real Salt Lake’s more assertive approach in the second half, with Cristian Arango and Andres Gomez threatening, Messi’s relentless work ethic and vision elevated Inter Miami’s performance.
The 36-year-old talisman orchestrated a mesmerizing move, combining with former Barcelona teammate

Luis Suarez

, who then set up Diego Gomez to slot home a precise shot into the far corner, doubling Miami’s advantage.

Messi continued to orchestrate chances, nearly setting up Suarez for a third goal, only to be thwarted by MacMath’s reflex save.

With this impressive victory under their belt, Inter Miami set their sights on their next challenge as they face Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday.
(With inputs from AFP)

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