Lionel Messi scores AGAIN: Inter Miami sensation notches eighth goal in his fifth game since arriving in US as his Herons dismantle Charlotte, 4-0, in Leagues Cup quarterfinals

Lionel Messi scores AGAIN: Inter Miami sensation notches eighth goal in his fifth game since arriving in US as his Herons dismantle Charlotte, 4-0, in Leagues Cup quarterfinals

  • Inter Miami’s winning streak now extends to five games since Messi’s July arrival 
  • Miami awaits the Philadelphia Union or Queretaro, of La Liga MX, in the semis
  • DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news 

Lionel Messi’s dazzling start to life in America continues as he scored for a eighth time in five games for Inter Miami as the Herons defeated Charlotte FC, 4-0, in the  Leagues Cup quarterfinals on Friday night.

The 36-year-old Argentine, who has yet to lose since his arrival in South Florida last month, scored Miami’s last goal in the 86th minute to get his side into the last four of the US domestic cup competition.

Miami now awaits to face either the Philadelphia Union or Queretaro, of La Liga MX, on August 15.

Josef Martinez opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 12th minute in Fort Lauderdale before Robert Taylor, who’s enjoyed somewhat of a revival under Messi, added a second in the 32nd minute. 

Charlotte’s Adilson Malanda scored an own goal in the 78th minute from a cross that was attended for Messi, eight minutes before last year’s World Cup champion finally got onto the scoreboard. 

Miami's Lionel Messi, 36, scored in the 86th minute to put the nail in the coffin vs. Charlotte

Miami’s Lionel Messi, 36, scored in the 86th minute to put the nail in the coffin vs. Charlotte

Messi celebrates his goal with Diego Gomez in the second half at a sellout DRV Pink Stadium

Messi celebrates his goal with Diego Gomez in the second half at a sellout DRV Pink Stadium

THE BOSS IS IN THE BUILDING: Miami's co-owner David Beckham attended Friday's match

THE BOSS IS IN THE BUILDING: Miami’s co-owner David Beckham attended Friday’s match

Inter Miami forward Josef Martinez opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the first half

Inter Miami forward Josef Martinez opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the first half

Robert Taylor added a second late in the first half to gift Miami a two-goal cushion at halftime

Robert Taylor added a second late in the first half to gift Miami a two-goal cushion at halftime

Miami appeared to have close to just about another sellout at its 22,000-seat DRV PNK Stadium, even on a night where the South Florida sports landscape was loaded.

The Miami Dolphins were playing their preseason opener at home, the Miami Marlins hosted the New York Yankees, and Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro was headlining a pro-am league championship game inside a packed high school gym.

But Messi-mania lived on, as would be expected in front of the eyes of club co-owner David Beckham. And the fans in those new pink No. 10 jerseys left happy once again, a far cry from what life was like for Inter Miami backers before the Messi era started. 

Before Messi: Inter Miami had won five of its 22 MLS matches this season under then-manager Phil Neville.

With Messi: Inter Miami has won all of its Leagues Cup matches, and now is just two wins from a trophy. 

Miami seemed to have close to just about another sellout at its 22,000-seat DRV PNK Stadium

Miami seemed to have close to just about another sellout at its 22,000-seat DRV PNK Stadium

A fan holds up a shoe with an image of Lionel Messi on the side during Friday's 4-0 home win

A fan holds up a shoe with an image of Lionel Messi on the side during Friday’s 4-0 home win

Miami's now undefeated in its last five games - all in the Leagues Cup - since Messi's arrival

Miami’s now undefeated in its last five games – all in the Leagues Cup – since Messi’s arrival

Messi's long awaited MLS debut will come on August 26 against the New York Red Bulls

Messi’s long awaited MLS debut will come on August 26 against the New York Red Bulls 

THE MESSI EFFECT: Miami's outscored its opponents 17-6 in the US domestic cup

THE MESSI EFFECT: Miami’s outscored its opponents 17-6 in the US domestic cup

What’s more is that the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has yet to play a minute of MLS action due to his side’s deep run in the US domestic cup competition. 

Messi is expected to make his league debut at the New York Red Bulls on August 25. 

Charlotte failed to register a shot on target before halftime on Friday and finished with three on a night that the club reverted to its league form. 

The Crown had only let in five goals in the first four games of the Leagues Cup, but they looked more like the defense that has conceded an MLS-worst 40 times during the regular season. 

Messi also has three assists while helping Miami outscore its opponents 17-6 in the US domestic cup. 

source: dailymail.co.uk