The World Cup winner scored Miami’s first and last goals in a chaotic match at Toyota Stadium that ended 4-4 in regulation before netting his spot kick in the shootout to help send his team through to the quarterfinals.
Messi’s first goal outside of Florida for his new U.S. club was another left-footed strike outside the penalty area in the sixth minute on a pass from former Barcelona teammate Jordi Alba. It was initially disallowed on an offsides call that was overturned on review.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner and World Cup champion for Argentina has scored in all four matches for Inter Miami, with seven goals total.
FC Dallas had gone ahead 4-2 on Robert Taylor‘s own goal in the 68th minute, but Dallas gave an own goal right back in the 80th minute. Marco Farfan put a header into his own net on a cross from Messi on a free kick from outside the left corner of the penalty box.
Messi had the first penalty kick with a slow-moving shot into the right corner, and the difference was FC Dallas’ Paxton Pomykal missing over the crossbar on the second attempt. Benjamin Cremaschi, who scored in the 65th minute, had the clincher as Miami finished with a 5-3 edge in the shootout.
Messi had several free kicks in the second half, with each attempt bringing everyone in the sellout crowd of 19,096 to their feet, most of them recording with cell phones.
Two minutes later, Cremaschi pulled Inter Miami within a goal to set up the wild finish.
The second of Messi’s three consecutive two-goal games came in the first Leagues Cup elimination game, a 3-1 Miami victory over Orlando City that was delayed by an hour and a half because of a torrential rainstorm in Florida.
The fifth match in Texas in Messi’s illustrious career had a kickoff temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit on the 14th consecutive day of triple-digit heat in the Dallas area.
Because of the high temperatures, teams took a heat break near the halfway point of each half.
The victory in the round of 16 sends Inter Miami into the Leagues Cup quarterfinals — to be played at DRV PNK Stadium on Aug. 11 — against the winner of Monday night’s game between Charlotte FC and Houston Dynamo.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.