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Lionel Messi leads Inter Miami to a thrilling victory

Following Messi's free-kick strike in the last moments of the game, Miami went on to overcome Cruz Azul of Mexico 2-1.

Fort Lauderdale, 22 July, 2023 (GNP): The world-renowned football icon, Lionel Messi, made an unforgettable debut for Inter Miami as he secured a sensational last-second victory with a mesmerizing free-kick goal. The much-anticipated match between Inter Miami and Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup opener left fans on the edge of their seats with a thrilling 2-1 triumph in favor of Inter Miami.

Despite only having three full training sessions with the team, Messi’s impact was immediate and electrifying. Coming off the bench, the Argentine superstar displayed his remarkable skills on the field, lifting the spirits of his new team in the match at Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Inter Miami faced fierce competition from the Mexican visitors, Cruz Azul, who dominated the game at times. However, Messi’s brilliance shone through, and he managed to create opportunities even with limited chances. Taking matters into his own hands, Messi earned a crucial foul just beyond the penalty area, setting the stage for his memorable free-kick.

With nerves of steel and precision, Messi launched a left-footed curling free-kick that soared past the defensive wall and beat the goalkeeper, Andres Gudino, finding the top left corner of the net. The stadium erupted in jubilation as Inter Miami sealed the win.

“I knew it was the last chance,” Messi remarked after the match. “I just tried as I always do, and fortunately, the goalkeeper couldn’t get the ball. It is essential for this team to secure victories, as we are facing challenges in the league. This win will undoubtedly boost our morale.”

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Inter Miami’s Robert Taylor also made a significant contribution, scoring just before halftime to give the Herons an excellent start in their three-team group, which includes Atlanta United. The Leagues Cup features all 47 teams from MLS and Liga MX, making it an intensely competitive tournament.

Cruz Azul’s Uriel Antuna managed to level the score in the 65th minute, adding to the excitement of the game. Despite facing an 18-12 shot deficit and trailing 8-6 in efforts on target, Inter Miami’s goalkeeper, Drake Callendar, showcased exceptional skills, making seven crucial saves, including two early saves that preserved the lead.

The event became a gathering of legends, with the likes of LeBron James and Serena Williams in attendance, alongside Messi. These icons, each considered the “greatest of all time” in their respective fields, added to the spectacle of Messi’s debut match.

Inter Miami coach Tata Martino praised Messi’s match-winning feat, stating, “It’s common for him, you know. It looks absolutely normal, but it’s not… we’re speaking about the GOAT.”

The victory marked an extraordinary start for Lionel Messi in his American football journey, and fans can undoubtedly look forward to more captivating performances in the future.