Lionel Messi continued his impressive start with Major League soccer team Inter Miami as he scored twice in a 3-1 win against Orlando City in the Leagues Cup.
The Argentine star, playing his third game since moving to the United States from Paris Saint-Germain, opened the scoring on Wednesday with a lovely volley after a brilliant chip into the box from teammate Robert Taylor.
Orlando equalized 10 minutes later through César Araújo’s strike from a corner, but the home side pushed for a second goal in the first half and came close twice – first when Messi hit the post, then when his free-kick was tipped over the bar by Pedro Gallese.
A successful penalty kick from Josef Martínez early in the second half saw Miami regain the lead before Messi combined with Taylor and Martínez to score his second volley and complete the victory.
Araújo looked to have scored for Orlando in stoppage time with a simple finish at the back post but the goal was later ruled out for an offside.
Having also found the back of the net against Cruz Azul and Atlanta United, the brace took the 36-year-old Messi’s goal tally to five in three games since moving to the US.
It wasn’t a blemish-free evening for the forward, however, as he was yellow carded in the first half and later escaped a second booking for a challenge on Araújo.
The victory at DRV PNK Stadium means Messi and Miami will now face FC Dallas in the Leagues Cup round of 16 on Sunday.