Lionel Messi! Inter Miami superstar scores for fourth straight game

Match number four of the Lionel Messi era at Inter Miami CF went much like the previous three: with brilliant golazos from the No. 10.

The Argentine superstar struck for his third straight brace and scored in his fourth consecutive game as Miami advanced to the Leagues Cup quarterfinals Sunday night after a 5-3 penalty-shootout victory over FC Dallas that followed a wild 4-4 draw in regulation time.

The Messi show got off to an early start at Toyota Stadium, with the 2022 World Cup champion putting the visitors up in the sixth minute with a brilliant left-footed strike. The FC Barcelona legend linked up with former Blaugrana teammate Jordi Alba before beating goalkeeper Maarten Paes from atop the box.

After some entertaining back and forth on the scoreboard, Messi – the Leagues Cup Golden Boot leader with seven tallies in four games – scored yet another world-class golazo five minutes from time to force PKs.

Reminiscent of his dream debut strike against Cruz Azul in Miami's group stage opener, the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner's curling effort left Paes with no chance. He'd get the best of the Dutch 'keeper for a third time in the ensuing shootout, before Paxton Pomykal skied his shot from the spot, setting the stage for Benjamin Cremaschi's dramatic 5-3 clincher.

What awaits in match number five for Messi and Co.? They're back in action Friday, Aug. 11 at DRV PNK Stadium when hosting either Charlotte FC or Houston Dynamo FC in the quarterfinals.