Messi sends Inter Miami into Leagues Cup last 16

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Lionel Messi scored twice as Inter Miami secured a place in the Leagues Cup round of 16 on Wednesday with a 3-1 home win over Orlando City.

   Messi gave the hosts the lead in the seventh minute when he timed his run to perfection and controlled Robert Taylor’s lofted pass with his chest before thumping a close-range volley past Peruvian goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.

   The visitors equalized shortly after through Cesar Araujo, who swept home a first-time finish after Ivan Angulo’s shot was parried clear by Drake Callender.

   Venezuelan striker Josef Martinez then converted a penalty after he was brought down by Antonio Carlos.

   Messi put the result beyond doubt with another volley from the edge of the six-yard box following Martinez’s unselfish pass.

   The result means Inter Miami will meet FC Dallas in the next round, with the winner earning a spot in the quarterfinals.

   Messi, who joined Inter Miami as a free agent last month after parting ways with Paris Saint-Germain, has now scored five goals from three games for the Florida outfit. Enditem

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