Lionel Messi scored his third consecutive goal for Inter Miami in a 3-1 victory over Orlando City on Wednesday, propelling his Major League Soccer club into the League Cup’s last 16.
The game was delayed by 95 minutes due to a rainstorm, but once it began, Messi had little time to calm down and scored in the seventh minute.
The Argentine started his move at the half-way line and ran into the area as Robert Taylor chipped the ball over numerous defenders. Messi then chested the ball down and volleyed it in from the six-yard box.
Orlando levelled 10 minutes later when Uruguayan midfielder Cesar Araujo pounced on a loose ball off a corner and shot home, but Miami regained the lead three minutes later when Josef Martinez converted a penalty.
Taylor and Martinez then combined on a counter-attack in the 72nd minute to set up Messi for another close-range volley, and the unmarked Argentine made no mistake to beat Orlando custodian Pedro Gallese.
It was Messi’s fifth goal in three games, following goals against Cruz Azul and Atlanta United in the tournament’s group round.
Araujo believed he had equalized for Orlando in the ninth minute of injury time with a tap-in at the far post, but the goal was ruled out due to offside.
Miami’s next opponent will be FC Dallas, which defeated Mexican side Mazatlan 2-1.