Messi scores double as Inter Miami beat Atlanta in Leagues Cup
Inter Miami hammer Atlanta 4-0 at home to qualify for Round of 32
By Can Erozden
ANKARA (AA) - Argentine superstar Lionel Messi scored twice to help Inter Miami thrash Atlanta United 4-0 in a 2023 Leagues Cup match on Tuesday.
Messi-led Miami clinched first place in their group to qualify for the Round of 32 in the tournament.
Messi, 36, scored the opening goal in the eighth minute, and then doubled the gap via a gentle finish in the 22nd minute at Fort Lauderdale's DRV PNK Stadium.
Finnish winger Robert Taylor also scored twice for Inter Miami in the 43rd and 53rd minutes.
Near the end of the match, Inter Miami were down to 10 men as Christopher McVey was sent off for a foul in the box.
Goalkeeper Drake Callender saved Atlanta forward Thiago Almada's penalty in the 86th minute to secure the home win.
Inter Miami won the Leagues Cup group South 3 after two wins to reach the knockout stage.
Last week Messi, former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain forward, scored a winner via a stoppage time freekick on his Inter Miami debut in a Leagues Cup match against Mexico's Cruz Azul, which the US club won 2-1.
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