Punjab News Network

In the MLS opener, Inter Miami defeated Real Salt Lake led by Lionel Messi, the creator

<p>Inter Miami defeated Real Salt Lake 2-0 on Wednesday to open the 2017 Major League Soccer season with a victory that was largely Lionel Messi’s doing.</p>
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<p>Playing the full game, the Argentine World Cup champion put any doubts about his condition from the early season behind him with a strong showing for the title favorites set by the bookies.</p>
<p>Coach Gerardo Martino described Messi, who was injured late in the previous season and missed some of the preseason, as “loose, fine, and showed a lot of speed.”</p>
<p>In front of a packed house, midfielder Sergio Busquets, left defender Jordi Alba, and debutante Luis Suarez—the other three members of Miami’s erstwhile Barcelona quartet—all made their debuts.</p>
<p>In the eighteenth minute, Messi almost opened the score against a cautious Salt Lake team with a curling free-kick from thirty yards out that Justen Glad headed off the line.</p>
<p>The audience erupted in applause when he chipped the ball over a player who was on the ground to avoid being prevented from reaching the outside of the box, and he then attempted a shot that was blocked.</p>
<p>However, Miami took the lead when eight-time Ballon d’Or winner Sergio Busquets of Spain found Messi. Taylor, a striker from Finland, skillfully slid the ball through to past RSL goalie Zac MacMath with a low effort.</p>
<p>Although the goal encouraged the visitors to open up after the break and their more aggressive approach created some issues for Inter, the goalie should have saved the attempt.</p>
<p>For Salt Lake, Cristian Arango hammered a half-chance high over the bar. Then, after a careless turnover by Busquets, Andres Gomez raced goalward but missed.</p>
<p>Miami labored in the first half of the second half and suffered the price for their lack of accuracy as the Utah team should have taken advantage of more of the space they discovered.</p>
<p>Messi increased his effort rate and took command of the game after realizing his side needed one or two more goals to secure the points.</p>
<p>He descended more deeply to retrieve the ball and used his signature tight control and quick forward bursts to launch many assaults.</p>
<p>The 36-year-old dribbled down the inside left channel to create space for Julian Gressel to receive a cross at the back post, but the German missed the mark from a close distance.</p>
<p>Messi then broke loose once again from deep, finding Suarez, who then found Diego Gomez. The Paraguayan midfielder then sent the ball low into the far corner to make it 2-0.</p>
<p>With Messi sliding to Gomez, who then fed Suarez, the three almost came together again for a third, but MacMath’s extended leg prevented the Uruguayan’s attempt.</p>
Martino was ecstatic to see two of his cast’s less well-known members hit the mark.</p>
<p>This is how a team should operate. Although Robert and Diego have scored goals and Messi and Suarez have been the assistance, Luis and Leo would often be the ones most linked to the goal, he added.</p>
<p>The ex-coach of Barcelona, Argentina, and Mexico expressed his confidence that Messi and Suarez would be able to relive some of the magic they had shown during their seasons at Camp Nou.</p>
<p>He said, “They know each other so well, but we need to find that partnership that has already succeeded in Barcelona.”</p>
<p>It was a successful start to the season for Taylor, who had great success shortly after Messi joined the team and was an integral member of the squad that won the Leagues Cup.</p>
<p>Although there are still some issues that need to be resolved, it’s the start that we were hoping for. Though it’s just the first game of the season, the three points are a good start, and we’ll build on it, the player said.</p>
<p>On Sunday, Inter Miami will play against Los Angeles Galaxy.</p>

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