Messi assisted on two goals in the second half, and Inter Miami beat reigning MLS champion LAFC decisively with a 3-1 victory on Sunday night at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles. “It was a nice test for us to see where we are, what we were capable of,” Messi said in his postgame interview with Apple TV
LAFC may be used to playing in front of the Los Angeles spotlight, but with celebrities packing BMO Stadium to watch Lionel Messi and Inter Miami come to town, it was the visitors who stole the show in a 3-1 win.
Facundo Farias opened the scoring in the 14th minute, and Messi assisted second-half goals by Jordi Alba and Leonardo Campana as Inter Miami picked up an enormous three points on the road at the defending MLS champions.
Across the first 45 minutes, it felt as if LAFC did everything but score, as Denis Bouanga was foiled multiple times in front of net, sometimes by Inter Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender and others by his own poor finishing. Farias’ opener was against the run of play, and at halftime Steven Cherundolo will have felt their own moment was coming.
Yet after the break, Inter Miami gained further influence, and profited again as Messi delivered a sensational pass to Alba to double the lead. Then, Messi assisted the third and final goal as Inter Miami slammed the door shut with Campana’s 83rd-minute strike.
The three points gives Inter Miami a massive jolt at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, as they move to 25 for the season, still in 14th but now just eight points below the playoff line. LAFC drop to third in the Western Conference, passed by the Seattle Sounders but still holding games in hand.
The Sporting News followed the LAFC vs Inter Miami match live, providing score updates, commentary and highlights below as they happened.
FULLTIME: LAFC 1-3 Inter Miami
A comprehensive performance by Inter Miami in one of the toughest places to play in Major League Soccer. They survived a ferocious storm across the first 45 minutes, even grabbing the opener against the run of play. Then, Inter Miami improved after the break, and were good for their two second-half goals as they put the game away.
Three enormous points in the MLS playoff race for Inter Miami, who pull now to within just eight points of the postseason spots