LA Galaxy 1-1 Inter Miami: Messi scores to earn Herons a point away


Inter Miami held the LA Galaxy to a 1-1 draw in one of the most electric games of Major League Soccer’s opening weekend, as goals from Lionel Messi and Dejan Joveljić earned each side a point. 

LA Galaxy kicked off strong, driving Miami deep into their own half. Riqui Puig continuously beat Sergio Busquets, dancing his way through the midfield to set up new signing Joseph Paintsil for the shot at goal. 

But the intensity proved too much for Busquets, bringing Paintsil down inside the box to award the home team a penalty in the 12th minute. Puig stepped up to the spot, sending the ball to the lower right corner for Drake Callender to save. 

The Herons found a couple of offensive opportunities as the game progressed, but LA constantly outshined their opponent. Despite heated efforts, the game headed into halftime with a disappointing 0-0. 

Players maintained a high intensity heading into the second half, with both ends seeing immediate action. Paintsil, Puig and Joveljić worked tirelessly to infiltrate Miami’s box, but couldn’t capitalize on the chances until the 68th minute. 

Paintsil kicked off the play on the right before finding Puig, who managed the first attempt with a right-footed shot from just outside the box. Callender managed the first save, but Marco Delgado quickly reacted by sending the rebound to Joveljić for the final tap into the goal. 

The goal served as a wake up call for Miami. Alba and Messi found energy to push forward in the final minutes of the game, connecting inside the box to find the equalizer. The Spaniard provided the assist from the left, allowing Messi to fire the left-footed shot into the top of the goal. 

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Inter Miami takes on LA Galaxy. / CHANDAN KHANNA/GettyImages

GK: Drake Callender – 9/10 – Almost a perfect game. Saved the penalty and a couple other great shots before losing the clean sheet late in the second half.

RB: DeAndre Yedlin – 6/10 – Sloppy game from Yedlin, Galaxy took advantage of the right side.

CB: Tomas Aviles – 7/10 – Lacks presence at the back against teams like LA Galaxy, who will dance right through you for the shot.

CB: Serhiy Kryvstov – 7/10 – Inconsistent throughout, cannot be that reliable figure at the back.

LB: Jordi Alba – 7/10 – Decent performance defensively, with a couple shocking moments on the attack. Also the assist.

CM: Julian Gressel – 7/10 – Still cannot find his footing with Miami. His intensity in the first half earned a quick yellow, before failing to channel the momentum in the right way. But earns a 7 for his one good save.

CM: Sergio Busquets – 4/10 – Caused the penalty and earned a sloppy yellow card.

CM: Diego Gomez – 6/10 – Easily danced through.

RW: Lionel Messi – 9/10 – Muted in the first half by Galaxy’s defense, but magic once given space with the ball as proved with the goal.

ST: Luis Suarez – 7/10 – Lacked energy after Wednesday’s match, but still proved to be lethal when attacking.

LW: Robert Taylor – 7/10 – A couple good moments when attacking, but nothing defining.

Substitutes

SUB: David Ruiz (67′ for Taylor) – 5/10 – muted.  

SUB: Leo Campana (67′ for Luis Suarez) – 6/10 – Couldn’t match the intensity of those already on the field.

SUB: Shanyder Borgelin (84′ for Gomez) – N/A

SUB: Lawson Sunderland (84′ for Gressel) – N/A

Manager

Tata Martino – 7/10 – Didn’t alter the starting 11 after Wednesday’s victory so not much to judge on, but understood well when it was time to replace Luis Suarez.

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