Lionel Messi scores stunning free-kick on Inter Miami debut, defeats Cruz Azul

Lionel Messi calmly grazed his left boot on the ball, bending it around a wall of defenders and into the top left corner of the net, beating Cruz Azul in stoppage time Friday in his Inter Miami debut.

“It’s a film that we have seen before,” Inter Miami manager Tata Martino said at his postgame news conference.

Lionel Messi’s 94th-minute free kick from about 25 yards out gave the Herons a dramatic 2-1 victory and triggered even more astonishment from an already elated crowd of more than 22,000 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The game was part of the Leagues Cup tournament, which consists of MLS and Mexican Liga MX teams and does not count toward league standings.

Lionel Messi didn’t touch the field until the 54th minute, but fans shook the stadium with rabid enthusiasm, loudly chanting his name as he remained sidelined.

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