FORT LAUDERDALE (United States): Lionel Messi made it five goals in three appearances for Inter Miami as he scored twice in a 3-1 win over Orlando City in the Leagues Cup round-of-32 on Wednesday.
Both finishes came from close range from the Argentine who made it three wins out of three at a team which was winless in 11 league games before his arrival.
Messi opened the scoring in the seventh minute when Robert Taylor cut in from the left and chipped a perfect ball into the path of the on-running Argentine who cushioned the ball his chest before volleying home from six yards out.
But Orlando responded strongly, drawing level ten minutes later when a low shot from Ivan Angulo was pushed out by Miami keeper Drake Callender and Uruguayan Cesar Araujo pounced on the edge of the box to drive a low shot into the corner.
Miami restored their lead thanks to a 51st minute penalty from Josef Martinez and then Messi made sure of the victory, again from close range, after a clever chip to him from Martinez.
Another former Barcelona star Jordi Alba made his debut for Miami, coming on as a 64th minute substitute as Gerardo Martino’s team earned a last 16 meeting away to FC Dallas on Sunday. – AFP