Lionel Messi scores late goal to salvage Miami draw with LA Galaxy

Few MLS teams have been able to accomplish what the LA Galaxy did on Sunday night: they mostly silenced Lionel Messi for the majority of the evening, but not the entire one.

At a packed Dignity Health Park in Carson, California, where the Galaxy were hoping to defeat Inter Miami CF in the season opener, Messi came up in stoppage time in the second half to negate Dejan Joveljic’s goal and earn a 1-1 draw for his side.

The Galaxy were far less friendly to the South Florida club’s lucky charm on a night when LA welcomed back one of its former stars in Miami co-owner David Beckham. Messi was harassed all over the pitch and kept off the scoreboard until the final moments of the match.

Alongside Messi, Jordi Alba, Luis Suárez, and Sergio Busquets, Inter Miami’s renowned quartet of former Barcelona players took the pitch at the beginning of the match. However, it was Ricard Puig, a graduate of the team’s La Masia academy, who stole the show in the first half.

In the first forty-five minutes, Puig—who signed with the Galaxy in 2022—was all over the place, passing the ball to teammates and pressuring Miami keeper Drake Callender to save a goal.

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