Lionel Messi's 1st Inter Miami goal of season stuns LA Galaxy in extra time


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In typical Lionel Messi fashion, the first goal off his foot in the 2024 MLS season came at a time when Inter Miami needed it most. 

Playing their first road game against the LA Galaxy, Inter Miami was down 1-0 throughout the game as the referee signaled for extra time. Knowing something needed to go in the back of the net to at least force a draw, Messi got to work on the pitch. 

He used his new teammate, Jordi Alba, the former Barcelona star who followed Messi to Miami last season, to help set up the chance in front of LA Galaxy’s net. 

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Lionel Messi, #10 of Inter Miami, is congratulated by DeAndre Yedlin, #2, after scoring the equalizer in injury time during the second half against the Los Angeles Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park on Feb. 25, 2024 in Carson, California. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

It was a passing clinic that initially began with a turnover by Messi until he got the ball kicked right back to his left foot. He found Alba just outside the 18-yard box, and he dropped it right back for Messi. 

Then, streaking closer to the net, Messi gave a beautiful touch pass to Alba that set up a cross to the middle. Alba, though, was not looking for anyone else other than Messi, who continued his run. 

LIONEL MESSI’S ARRIVAL IN MIAMI PROVES MLS IS NO LONGER A ‘RETIREMENT LEAGUE,’ STAR DEFENDER SAYS

Sticking out his left foot, Messi connected perfectly with the Alba cross, and the goalie had no choice but to watch the ball fly into the upper regions of the net to make it a 1-1 game. 

Lionel Messi scores goal

Lionel Messi, #10 of Inter Miami, scores the equalizer in injury time during the second half against Maya Yoshida, #4 of the Los Angeles Galaxy, at Dignity Health Sports Park on Feb. 25, 2024 in Carson, California. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The crowd was raucous, and it was a star-studded affair in Los Angeles for the match.

A record crowd of 27,642 came to see Messi on Sunday and included celebrities like Halle Berry, Hilary Duff, Edward Norton and Lil Wayne, as well as fellow athletes Novak Djokovic, Puka Nacua, Candace Parker and Diana Taurasi. 

Messi even walked out with Saint West, the son of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, before the game kicked off. 

“Saints walking Messi out on the field tonight at the La Galaxy vs Inter Miami Game!!! He is living the absolute dream!” Kardashian wrote on X with an accompanying video. 

It was just one of many who are expected to come for Messi, who helped Inter Miami avoid its first loss of the season. 

Lionel Messi points on soccer pitch

Lionel Messi, #10 of Inter Miami, yells instruction to a teammate during the second half against Los Angeles Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park on Feb. 25, 2024 in Carson, California. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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They beat Real Salt Lake in their home opener to start the MLS season this past Wednesday, when Messi assisted on the first goal of the year – a strike by Robert Taylor that bounced off the goalie and trickled into the net. 



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