Messi scores early in 1st game outside Florida for Inter Miami at FC Dallas

Lionel Messi has wasted little time scoring in his first match outside Florida with Inter Miami


Inter Miami forward Lionel Messi (10) kicks a goal during the first half of a Leagues Cup soccer match against FC Dallas Sunday, Aug. 6, 2023, in Frisco, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

The Associated Press

FRISCO, Texas — Lionel Messi wasted little time scoring in his first match outside Florida with Inter Miami.

The only wait was to see whether the goal would count.

Messi’s left-footed kick from just outside the penalty box beat FC Dallas goalkeeper Maarten Paes inside the left post, giving Miami a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute Sunday night.

Josef Martinez was initially ruled offsides by the head referee for interfering with Paes’ view, but the call was overturned on review.

Messi has scored in all four matches since joining Miami, with six goals total. He had consecutive multigoal games coming into the Leagues Cup round of 16 match in Frisco, about 30 miles north of Dallas.

Messi’s second multigoal game came in the first Leagus Cup elimination game, which was delayed by an hour and a half because of a torrential rainstorm in Florida.

The fifth game in Texas in Messi’s illustrious career had a kickoff temperature of 100 degrees (38 degrees celsius) on the 14th consecutive day of triple-digit heat in the Dallas area.

Because of the high temperatures, teams took a heat break at the 25-minute mark of the first half.

Despite many fans in the sellout crowd waiting out the heat before taking their seats, most were in place when Messi’s former FC Barcelona teammate Jordi Alba passed back to the trailing superstar, setting up the goal.

The winner of the round of 16 match was headed to the Leagues Cup quarterfinals against the winner of Monday night’s match between Charlotte FC and Houston.



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