Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi scores in Champions Cup debut, Inter Miami draws Nashville 2-2

Miami came back down 2-0 to salvage a draw heading into the second leg at home.


NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – MARCH 07: Lionel Messi #10 of Inter Miami CF looks on against Nashville SC during the second half of the Concacaf Champions Cup Leg One Round of 16 match at GEODIS Park on March 07, 2024 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images)

Name a better duo than Inter Miami and late magic.

Well, probably Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Miami on Thursday trailed 2-0 at Nashville in the first leg of the Concacaf Champions Cup round of 16, until Messi and Suarez scored second-half goals to equalize.

Nashville led thanks to two stunning goals by Canadian Jacob Shaffelburg, who found the net in each half.

But Miami gradually grew into the game after Shaffelburg's second goal in the 46th minute, starting with Messi's stunning curler in the 52nd.

It marked Messi's first goal in the competition, and, of course, he produced it with style.

Miami kept attacking in search of the equalizer, but its momentum stalled multiple times due to stoppages in play. One of which happened to involve Messi, who took a scary shot to the leg that could've ended much worse.

There was also a scuffle between Messi, Suarez and multiple opposition players after Miami didn't kick the ball out of bounds to stop play when a Nashville player went down with an apparent injury.

Nashville then appeared to take a 3-1 lead late when USMNT's Shaq Moore showed patience to score with his left foot. However, VAR erased it having found Moore to be offside in the build up.

That allowed extra life for Miami, which they capitalized on thanks to Sergio Busquet's assist to Suarez in the fifth minute of seven added stoppage-time minutes.

The two teams will next meet in Miami for the second leg and a chance to punch a ticket to the quarterfinals.

The second leg is slated for Wednesday, March 13, with kick-off time set for 8:15 p.m. ET/5:15 p.m. PT.

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