Lionel Messi scores a goal beyond LA Galaxy goalkeeper John McCarthy
Lionel Messi stabs his shot past LA Galaxy goalkeeper John McCarthy

Lionel Messi scored a classy injury-time goal for Inter Miami in their 1-1 draw with LA Galaxy on Sunday.

Galaxy took the lead after 75 minutes through striker Dejan Joveljic, before midfielder Mark Delgado was sent off for a second yellow card.

Messi, 36, then combined cleverly with former Barcelona team-mate Jordi Alba and slid at full stretch to strike past goalkeeper John McCarthy.

Miami beat Real Salt Lake in their Major Soccer League opener last week.

They are top of the Eastern Conference on four points but are the only side in the division to have played twice. Rivals DC United began their campaign by beating New England Revolution 3-1 on Saturday.

“We were outplayed in the first half, we could have gone into the dressing room a goal down,” said Miami head coach Gerardo Martino.

“They scored on a counter-attack but after that we showed character.”

Miami started all four of their ex-Barcelona players in California, with 2022 World Cup winner Messi and Spaniard Alba joined by Sergio Busquets and Luis Suarez.

However, Argentine Messi had few chances, as Busquets and Suarez in particular looked off the pace, but he made a late one count.

With Galaxy down to 10 men after Delgado’s 87th-minute sending-off, Alba’s pull-back found Messi inside the box for the former Paris St-Germain forward to grab a late equaliser.

Elsewhere, Phil Neville’s Portland Timbers secured a comfortable 4-1 against the Colorado Rapids in their first game of the new season.

The victory on Saturday was Neville’s first since returning to MLS after the 47-year-old was sacked by Inter Miami in June.

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LA Galaxy

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 77McCarthy
  • 2Yamane
  • 4Yoshida
  • 22Cáceres
  • 3AudeSubstituted forNelsonat 79′minutes
  • 20Cerrillo
  • 8DelgadoBooked at 88mins
  • 28PaintsilSubstituted forAguirreat 86′minutes
  • 10Puig
  • 7FagúndezSubstituted forFortes Chavesat 70′minutes
  • 9JoveljicSubstituted forBerryat 86′minutes


  • 5Brugman
  • 11Fortes Chaves
  • 14Nelson
  • 15Zavaleta
  • 18Pérez
  • 19Cuevas
  • 27Berry
  • 35Micovic
  • 37Aguirre

Inter Miami CF

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Callender
  • 2Yedlin
  • 6Avilés
  • 27Kryvtsov
  • 18AlbaBooked at 51mins
  • 24GresselBooked at 11minsSubstituted forSunderlandat 84′minutes
  • 5BusquetsBooked at 21mins
  • 20GómezSubstituted forBorgelinat 84′minutes
  • 10Messi
  • 9SuárezSubstituted forCampanaat 67′minutes
  • 16TaylorSubstituted forRuízat 67′minutes


  • 7Mota Oliveira de Sousa
  • 8Campana
  • 15Sailor
  • 21Freire
  • 29dos Santos
  • 32Allen
  • 41Ruíz
  • 43Sunderland
  • 49Borgelin

Gabriele Ciampi


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