LAFC and Inter Miami were reported to have put up a stellar performance on the field. Messi helped with two goals in the second half, and Inter Miami secured a decisive 3-1 victory against the current MLS champions, LAFC, at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday.
In a post-game interview with Apple TV, Messi expressed, this was a good test for us to see where we stand, how capable we are. The match against the reigning champions was tough and the terrain was different. However, we achieved something that most never expected. Our squad is expanding steadily, and our goal is to reach the playoffs when the post-season arrives.
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The Power Plays and Prowess in LAFC vs. Inter Miami Clash
Messi, the 2022 World Cup champion and seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, had gone without scoring in consecutive games, but his entry into Inter Miami’s lineup marked his third appearance in 11 games. However, he didn’t let that streak continue.
Fans and famous faces alike, including Selena Gomez, Prince Harry, Leonardo DiCaprio, and many more who had gathered for this historic event, were dazzled by Messi’s precision as he delivered two perfectly timed assists with his left foot.
Messi assisted Jordi Alba in the 51st minute and then Ignacio “Nacho” Campana in the 83rd minute. In the meantime, Faku Fariñas found the back of the net in the 18th minute. Showcasing how Messi’s influence is turning Inter Miami into an indomitable powerhouse.
‘You know what Leo can do; he can create magic inside the pitch. He delivers the best,’ Campana mentioned in his Apple TV post-game interview.
Messi and Inter Miami won the League’s Cup on August 19, and they will compete for another title in the U.S. Open Cup Final on September 26. However, in the MLS playoff race, Inter Miami is climbing uphill, currently trailing ninth-placed D.C. United in the Eastern Conference.
LAFC dominated with a 22-9 lead in shots and a considerable advantage in corner kicks, but they struggled to score until the 90th minute when Ryan Hollingshead’s header made the scoreline much tighter.
Inter Miami, after Messi’s addition in late July, has been on an impressive streak of 10 wins, 1 draw, and 0 losses in 11 games.
After this match, Messi will head to Argentina to help the defending World Cup champions qualify for this month’s two matches. It’s expected that Messi won’t play in Inter Miami’s next game against Sporting Kansas City at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale on September 9.
Mark your calendars for September 7th when Messi will be taking the field in Argentina’s home game against Ecuador at the iconic Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires. On September 12, Messi will face Bolivia in his second qualifying match at Estadio Hernando Siles in La Paz, Bolivia.
Messi’s participation in both games could affect his availability for Inter Miami’s match against Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 16.
During the game, one Messi fan managed to get onto the pitch during the second half, running towards Messi. After a brief encounter between Messi and the fan, Inter Miami’s security guards swiftly intervened.
Messi held back the fan once he reached him, and the fan slowed down his pace. An LAFC supporter attempted to intervene before Messi’s security guards ensured the fan’s safety, escorting him out in the 73rd minute.
Messi, after the match, embraced actor Owen Wilson on the pitch while fans eagerly surrounded Messi for autographs.
LAFC faced a real challenge here, having played their last four opponents on home turf, where they had previously dominated with an impressive 18-1 score line. But Inter Miami came in strong with their pink and black colors.