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Messi scores on MLS debut as Inter Miami ease past NY Red Bulls

Photo via @InterMiamiCF

Washington, US | THE INDEPENDENT | Lionel Messi scored his first Major League Soccer (MLS) goal as Inter Miami secured a 2-0 away win over New York Red Bulls on Saturday.

Messi and his former Barcelona teammate Sergio Busquets began on the bench after a grueling sequence of games that culminated in a victory over Cincinnati in the Leagues Cup final last weekend.

The Florida outfit did not initially appear to miss the duo, controlling possession early.

Paraguayan striker Diego Gomez broke the deadlock in the 37th minute when he received Noah Allan’s pass with his back to goal and took a touch before stabbing an angled shot into the far corner.

Messi and Busquets were introduced in the 60th minute and made an immediate impact after a period of dominance from the hosts.

The Argentine World Cup winner combined with Jordi Alba before somehow threading a pass through a sea of defenders and into the path of compatriot Benjamin Cremaschi.

The latter then crossed to the edge of the six-yard box from where the onrushing Messi tapped a first-time effort past goalkeeper Carlos Coronel.

It was just Inter Miami’s sixth win in 23 MLS games this season, but it lifted them one rung in the 15-team Eastern Conference standings to 14th place.

The club that is co-owned by David Beckham has now won all of its nine matches since Messi arrived along with head coach Gerardo Martino in mid-July. Since then, the 36-year-old has scored 11 times and provided three assists.

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