Messi Inspires Inter Miami to Leagues Cup Final Victory

Photo of Messi dealing in the battle

The expected test for Lionel Messi and Inter Miami turned out to be surprisingly easy. They excelled beyond expectations.

Merely three minutes into the game, Josef Martinez scored a goal. In the 20th minute, Messi displayed his prowess by netting an impressive long-range goal using his left foot. Shortly before halftime, Jordi Alba contributed another goal. The 19-year-old David Ruiz concluded the match with a goal in the 84th minute, securing a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union in the Leagues Cup semifinal held on Tuesday night.

As a result of this triumph, Inter Miami advances to the Leagues Cup final scheduled for Saturday, where they will meet Nashville SC.

Significantly, this achievement also guarantees Inter Miami a position in the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup, a tournament they had not participated in since their establishment as a team back in 2020.

“We ought to experience happiness and savor this moment,” Martinez expressed during a postgame interview broadcasted on Apple TV regarding Inter Miami’s progression to the Leagues Cup final.

The challenge that Miami was projected to confront seemed notably imposing. Preceding Tuesday’s match, Philadelphia had encountered only a single defeat in their last 41 matches at their home ground, Subaru Park, located in Chester, Pennsylvania. However, all of this took place before the arrival of Messi, the triumphant World Cup athlete from Argentina and a seven-time winner of the Ballon D’Or award, who had joined his newly affiliated MLS team.

Martinez’s initial goal was labeled by Philadelphia Union coach Jim Curtin as “preventable and demoralizing.” This instance marked the fifth occasion that Inter Miami had scored within a 15-minute timeframe and the fourth occurrence of them scoring within eight minutes during their Leagues Cup participation. Additionally, this goal set the ambiance for an unfavorable evening that unfolded for the Union.

Curtin noted, “The match was a humbling experience, showcasing their impressive abilities.”

A single more victory is all that stands between Inter Miami and lifting the Leagues Cup championship trophy.

Martinez expressed, “This offers a major chance for us, the team, and the club – our first-ever final. We need to pursue it relentlessly. Our enthusiasm is soaring.”

When can we expect to see Lionel Messi in his next match?

It’s probable that Messi will make another appearance on the field this Saturday, as Inter Miami faces off against Nashville SC in the Leagues Cup final.

The match result and key moments from the Inter Miami vs. Philadelphia Union game

During Tuesday night’s match, Inter Miami clinched a 4-1 triumph against Philadelphia. The goals for Miami were scored by Josef Martinez (3′), Lionel Messi (20′), Jordi Alba (45′ + 3′), and David Ruiz (84′). Philadelphia’s solitary goal was contributed by Alejandro Bedoya (73′).

Messi’s presence at Inter Miami has brought about a substantial and deep-seated influence

Messi has accumulated a total of nine goals over the course of six Leagues Cup matches, whereas Inter Miami’s overall tally during the tournament has reached 21 goals. This starkly contrasts with their prior performance of scoring just 22 goals in 22 MLS games prior to Messi’s arrival.

Across all six games in which Messi has participated, Inter Miami has secured victories, marking a distinct departure from their 5-3-14 (W-D-L) record when he was not on the field. This previous record had positioned them at the bottom of the Eastern Conference in MLS.

Moreover, Inter Miami has gone a step further by enlisting former FC Barcelona teammates of Messi, including Alba and Sergio Busquets. Additionally, they have successfully acquired Paraguayan national Diego Gómez. Among their acquisitions are also two promising young Argentine talents: 20-year-old midfielder Facundo Farías and 19-year-old defender Tomás Avilés. However, this talented duo is yet to make their debut appearance on the field.

According to the perspective of Philadelphia Union coach Jim Curtin, “They possess unexplored potential. With their ownership’s substantial investment, they are positioning themselves to become a dominant force in the league, and they might already be among the league’s top teams. This evolution is in progress, and I see no obstacles in its path.”


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