Inter Miami vs LA Galaxy score, result, highlights as Lionel Messi scores late equalizer, first goal of 2024

Lionel Messi of Inter Miami

 

Inter Miami struggled throughout their first road trip of the 2024 MLS season, but they leaned on their Argentine superstar when the going got tough.

The LA Galaxy pummeled Inter Miami for much of their home opener, and led late through Dejan Joveljic’s opener with 15 minutes to go, but Lionel Messi’s first goal of the season in stoppage time snatched a share of the points in a 1-1 draw from Dignity Health Sports Park.

 

The opening 45 minutes saw the Galaxy totally dominate, missing a host of chances to make good on their pressure and go in front. Drake Callender made two sensational saves on Riqui Puig, including one from the penalty spot. New signing Joseph Paintsil was electric in the counter-attack, but he and Puig couldn’t find the finishing touch.

Finally, in the 75th minute, they grabbed the lead through Joveljic, but it wouldn’t last long. Mark Delgado was sent off for a second yellow card, and given new life, Messi combined brilliantly with Jordi Alba to secure the late equalizer 92 minutes in and peg the Galaxy back.

 

The Sporting News is following the Inter Miami vs LA Galaxy match live, providing score updates, commentary, and highlights as they happen.

Inter Miami vs LA Galaxy final score

Score (HT) Goal scorers
LA Galaxy 1 Joveljic (75′)
Inter Miami 1 Messi (90+2′)

Kickoff: 9:10 p.m. ET / 6:10 p.m. PT
Location: Dignity Health Sports Park (Carson, CA)
Referee: Gabriele Ciampi

Starting lineups (predicted):

LA Galaxy (4-3-3, right to left): 77. McCarthy (GK) — 2. Yamane, 22. Caceres, 4. Yoshida, 3. Aude — 8. Delgado (red card, 89′), 10. Puig, 20. Cerrillo, — 28. Paintsil (Aguirre, 87′), 9. Joveljic (Berry, 87′), 7. Fagundez (Pec, 70′).

Inter Miami (4-3-3, right to left): 1. Callender (GK) — 2. Yedlin, 6. Aviles, 27. Kryvtsov, 18. Alba — 24. Gressel (Borgelin, 84′), 5. Busquets, 20. D. Gomez (Sunderland, 84′) — 10. Messi, 9. Suarez (Campana, 67′), 16. Taylor (D. Ruiz, 67′).

 

Also Get: Everton see points deduction reduced to six from 10 on appeal

 

Inter Miami vs LA Galaxy post-match analysis

Riqui Puig and Joseph Paintsil are a real force for LA Galaxy

They struggled to finish chances as Drake Callender stood tall on multiple occasions, but Joseph Paintsil looks a quality offseason addition to finally give Riqui Puig some help in the attacking third so he doesn’t have to carry the entire load himself.

 

Puig was sensational on the counter-attack, and Paintsil was dangerous too, although the Ghanan wasted a number of chances with poor efforts on goal in both decision and execution. Still, the two look as if they will cause problems for the Western Conference throughout 2024 regardless of whether they dominate possession or play on the break.

However, it has to be mentioned that Paintsil’s finishing really let the Galaxy down in this match. He would do so well to create great scoring opportunities, and then waste the chances. He took seven shots worth just 0.37 xG, and his inefficiency is a big reason why the hosts failed to end up with all three points.

Sergio Busquets is cooked

While playing for Barcelona, Sergio Busquets was one of the best defensive midfielders to ever play football. Unfortunately, he’s no longer remotely the same player, and he presents a real problem for Inter Miami’s midfield.

Busquets, now 35 years old, was putrid in tonight’s match, and he was quite poor in the opener against Real Salt Lake too. He is late to everything, and it’s resulting in giveaways, fouls, and transition opportunities for the opponent.

Tata Martino has to figure out some way to give Busquets some defensive help in midfield, because he’s being run over in midfield.

MLS teams cannot let Lionel Messi hang around

The LA Galaxy should have won this match, plain and simple. Yet as the game dragged on and they failed to finish their chances, things got dicier and dicier. The opener in the 75th minute only added a sense of urgency to Inter Miami’s final 15 minutes, and it only exacerbated their intrepid push for a goal.

Lionel Messi is a consistent goal threat, especially up a man, and these two points dropped fall squarely on the shoulders of the Galaxy forwards who could not give the team a bigger margin for error knowing who is on the other side.

It’s the first of many goals for Messi this season surely, but if opponents can build a bigger cushion, they will know conceding to the greatest of all time won’t hurt the eventual result. Here, however, the Galaxy couldn’t do just that, and Messi’s moment of magic proves critical.

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