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Lionel Messi scores in regulation, penalties as Inter Miami beats Nashville in League Cup final

MIAMI (AP) -- Lionel Messi scored early in regulation and converted the first shot in penalty kicks as Inter Miami beat Nashville SC 10-9 on penalties in the Leagues Cup final on Saturday night.

Leagues Cup Inter Miami Nashville Soccer
Inter Miami forward Lionel Messi, left, celebrates his goal against Nashville SC with teammates during the first half of the Leagues Cup championship soccer match Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. George Walker IV / AP

Messi scored for the 10th time in seven games since joining Inter Miami, converting in the 23rd minutes.

The ball landed at Messi's feet after a pass from teammate Robert Taylor was blocked. Messi dribbled past Nashville defender Walker Zimmerman and unleashed a bending shot from just outside the penalty box into the top left corner of the goal. Diving goalkeeper Elliot Panicco had no chance at playing the ball.

Nashville fans had booed Messi on his previous touches of the ball, but the stadium erupted in cheers when the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner who led Argentina to the World Cup crown last year scored.

Messi had a shot from a similar position in the 71st minute, but hit the post as the teams played to a 1-1 draw in regulation.

Messi calmly converted the first shot in penalties as Miami claimed its first trophy.


AP soccer:

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