Messi Leads Inter Miami To First Trophy With Leagues Cup Win

Lionel Messi struck a screamer and won his first North American soccer trophy as Inter Miami defeated Nashville on penalties (10-9) after their final drew 1-1 after 90 minutes.

The Argentine World Cup winner put Miami ahead in the 24th minute with a spectacular shot into the top corner, but Nashville equalized in the second half through Fafa Picault.

After Messi struck the post and Miami’s Leonardo Campana missed a last-second chance to win the game in regulation, the game went to a shootout, which ended with a duel between the two keepers with Elliot Panicco’s attempt being stopped by Drake Callender.

Messi and his team-mates rushed to celebrate with the American goalkeeper, who had made some key saves late in the game to keep his team alive.

Miami, in their third season of existence, were rock bottom of Major League Soccer when Messi joined them a month ago but Messi, along with Spanish pair Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, has utterly transformed the team leading them on a seven game unbeaten run to the League Cup title.

Co-owner David Beckham, who created the club, said he was stunned by the way the former Barcelona trio had been able to bring about change so quickly.

“It is like a movie, you watch these players play and it is, emotionally, everything about their play is beautiful,” he said.

Seven-times Ballon d’Or winner Messi has now scored 10 goals in seven games in the pink shirt of his new club and on Wednesday has the chance to reach another final when his team take on Cincinnati in the semi-final of the US Open Cup.

This was not the dominant, entertaining Miami that in the past month has lit up the tournament, featuring MLS and Mexican Liga MX clubs, but the win was sweet nonetheless.

“I am very happy to win our first title in just one month, the club’s first. The team is growing by leaps and bounds and we are very happy,” said midfielder Busquets.

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