Lionel Messi extended his remarkable goal-scoring streak as Inter Miami powered into the final of the Leagues Cup with an emphatic 4-1 victory over Philadelphia Union on Tuesday.
The Argentina superstar took his tally to nine goals in six appearances for Miami in an entertaining semi-final at Philadelphia’s Subaru Park.
Venezuelan international Josef Martinez, Messi’s former Barcelona team-mate Jordi Alba, and substitute David Ruiz scored Miami’s other goals, with Alejandro Bedoya the lone scorer for outgunned Philadelphia.
The result means Messi will now lead Miami into the 42nd final of his career when the World Cup-style tournament for clubs from Mexico and Major League Soccer reaches its climax on Saturday. The win also guarantees Miami a place in next year’s CONCACAF Champions Cup, the top regional club tournament.
Tuesday’s semi-final in Philadelphia was in theory supposed to be the toughest assignment yet faced by Messi since he made his debut for Miami on July 21 after joining from Paris Saint-Germain.
Philadelphia are one of the strongest teams in MLS, and are third in the Eastern Conference standings while Miami are bottom of the table.
The Union have also been practically invincible at home, losing only once in their previous 38 games at Subaru Park.