Lionel Messi Wins His 1st North American Soccer Trophy As Inter Miami Lifts The League Cup
Lionel Messi won his first trophy in North American soccer on Sunday after his team Inter Miami emerged victorious in a League Cup final against Nashville, triumphing on penalties (10-9) after the match ended 1-1 in regular time.
The former Barcelona forward scored a goal in the 24th minute giving Miami the lead. However, Fafa Picault equalised for Nashville in the second half.
Messi’s teammate, Leonardo Campana, missed a golden opportunity to secure victory for Miami in regulation time sending the match to a penalty shootout.
Messi joined Miami just a month ago when the team languished at the bottom of Major League Soccer but his arrival has sparked a remarkable transformation. Miami embarked on an unbeaten run, culminating in their triumph in the League Cup.
The Argentine international has been in scintillating form, netting 10 goals in seven appearances for his new club. Miami now looks forward to the semi-final of the US Open Cup against Cincinnati, offering another opportunity for Messi to reach the final.
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While the match against Nashville did not showcase Miami’s usual dominance and flair, the victory was a testament to their resilience. Sergio Busquets, the Spanish midfielder, acknowledged the element of luck in penalty shootouts and expressed his delight at winning Miami’s first title within a month. He said:
It was very exciting. The draw was a fair result and on penalties is the luck of the champion, which in this case came in our favor.
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
We have infected the team with our spirit, our work, our character and experience. We are making a solid team … And then we have Leo, who makes a difference because he’s the best in the world.
Nashville posed a threat from set-pieces, as demonstrated by Walker Zimmerman’s header that forced a save from Callender.