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Football

Lionel Messi's Double Delight Propels Inter Miami to Quarter-Finals in Penalty Thriller

Toyota Stadium hosted a gripping Round of 16 Leagues Cup showdown, featuring a dramatic face-off between FC Dallas and Inter Miami. The match took an exhilarating twist as Lionel Messi stepped into the limelight, scoring two pivotal goals that propelled Inter Miami to a 5-3 victory in the penalty shootout, securing their place in the quarter-finals.

The match kick-started with Messi's brilliance, as he found the back of the net in the 6th minute, setting the tone for an enthralling contest. The early lead was challenged by FC Dallas, who showcased their mettle through Facundo Quignon's strike in the 37th minute and Bernard Kamungo's goal just before the halftime whistle in the 45th minute.

Inter Miami showed their resolve, unperturbed, levelling the score during the second half. Alan Velasco's strike in the 63rd minute and Benjamin Cremaschi's goal in the 65th minute underlined their determination. The momentum swung again when FC Dallas benefited from an own goal by Robert Taylor in the 68th minute, regaining their lead.

With the clock ticking down, the match took another dramatic turn as Marco Farfan accidentally scored an own goal in the 80th minute, bringing the score to an intense 4-4 deadlock. As the regulation time ended with the scoreboard still level, the match extended into extra time, raising anticipation for the decisive moment.

In this crucial extension, Lionel Messi once again showcased his match-winning prowess. Messi's second goal in the 85th minute salvaged Inter Miami from the brink of defeat and proved his status as a game-changer under pressure.

As the final whistle blew, the 4-4 stalemate persisted, leading to a high-stakes penalty shootout. The shootout saw Inter Miami emerge triumphant, clinching the win 5-3. The team's accuracy from the spot secured their advancement to the quarter-finals.

The statistics mirrored the intensity on the field, with FC Dallas accumulating 12 shots, 4 on target, and Inter Miami responding with 11 shots and 5 on target. Possession heavily favoured Inter Miami, who commanded 66% of the ball compared to FC Dallas's 34%. The match was closely contested regarding fouls, yellow cards, red cards, offsides, and corners.

In a clash that will be etched in Leagues Cup history, Lionel Messi's exceptional display stood out. His two vital goals kept Inter Miami's hopes alive and propelled them to a thrilling penalty shootout victory. Messi's influence looms as Inter Miami progresses to the quarter-finals, solidifying his reputation as a genuine footballing icon.