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Inter Miami vs Real Salt Lake Timeline: Messi Magic Secures Season Opener Victory

In a thrilling MLS season opener, Inter Miami managed to secure a 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake at Chase Stadium. The night was marked by iconic moments, a glimpse of Lionel Messi’s magic, and the debut of Luis Suárez in the blue and pink colors of Inter Miami.

First Half: Taylor’s Strike Opens the Scoring

The game kicked off with Inter Miami on the front foot, with Messi showcasing his trademark creativity. In the 17th minute, Messi’s free-kick forced a goal-line clearance from Real Salt Lake’s defense, setting the tone for a night filled with attacking flair.

The breakthrough came in the 39th minute when Sergio Busquets initiated a swift attacking move. Messi, turning on his magic, threaded a precise through ball to Robert Taylor on the right side of the box. Taylor clinically finished to the far post, securing the first goal of the 2024 MLS season and giving Inter Miami a 1-0 lead.

Second Half: Gomez Seals the Win

Real Salt Lake came out with renewed vigor in the second half, dominating proceedings for a significant period. However, Inter Miami weathered the storm, thanks to some resilient defending and crucial saves from goalkeeper Drake Callender.

In the 83rd minute, the hosts sealed the victory with a lightning-quick counter-attack. Messi, once again the orchestrator, drove through the midfield and provided a perfectly timed pass to Luis Suárez in the box. Suárez, showing his class, laid the ball off to Diego Gómez, who calmly slotted it home to make it 2-0 for Inter Miami.

Messi’s Influence and Suárez’s Debut

The night belonged to Messi, who not only displayed his creative brilliance but also showcased his defensive commitment, holding off challenges and initiating counter-attacks. Suárez, making his official MLS debut, provided a glimpse of the partnership with Messi that fans have been eagerly anticipating.

Tata Martino’s Reflection

Head coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino acknowledged the team’s solid defensive performance in the first half and emphasized the need to build and improve each week. The victory sets a positive tone for Inter Miami as they look ahead to the upcoming fixtures.

Next Fixture: Inter Miami Heads to LA Galaxy

Buoyed by the season-opening triumph, Inter Miami will now travel to face LA Galaxy in their second MLS fixture on Sunday, February 25, at 8:30 p.m. ET at Dignity Health Sports Park.

The win not only marks a successful start to Inter Miami’s 2024 campaign but also showcases the potential of the star-studded squad led by Messi and Suárez. As the season progresses, fans can expect more captivating moments and a relentless pursuit of success from the Herons.