Inter Miami Top LAFC, Extend Unbeaten Run To 11

Facundo Farias, Jordi Alba and Leonardo Campana scored goals, Lionel Messi had two assists and Inter Miami increased their unbeaten run to a club record 11 matches with a 3-1 victory over Los Angeles FC on Sunday in a duel of reigning champions.

Drake Callender made five saves as Inter Miami improved to 10-0-1 across all competitions since Messi’s first match with the club on July 21. The run includes a Leagues Cup title in the August 19 final against Nashville SC.

Inter Miami (7-14-4, 25 points) rebounded from a scoreless draw against Nashville on Wednesday, with the club 2-0-1 in MLS play during the Messi era.

Ryan Hollingshead scored off a set piece in the 90th minute for LAFC (11-8-7, 40 points) to avoid the shutout. John McCarthy had three saves for the defending MLS Cup champions, who are in third place in the Western Conference.

LAFC nearly took an early lead after a Denis Bouanga shot from close range in the 11th minute, but Callender punched the ball away with a closed right fist.

Farias gave Inter Miami a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute on a sliding shot from just inside the penalty area after a long through ball from midfield by Tomas Aviles. It was Farias’ first goal with Inter Miami in his third match and second start.

Messi had a prime scoring chance in the 38th minute, but his left-footed shot from near the penalty spot was deflected by McCarthy.

Alba made it 2-0 in the 51st minute when he scored from the centre of the penalty area off a long through ball from Messi. Campana sealed the victory when he finished a two-on-one break with a left-footed goal off a Messi pass. The assists were Messi’s first in MLS regular-season action.

Inter Miami started all six of their summer signings together for the first time: Messi, Farias, Aviles, Alba, Sergio Busquets and Diego Gomez.

The star-studded crowd at Los Angeles included Prince Harry of Wales, actors Owen Wilson and Leonardo DiCaprio, musician/actress Selena Gomez and comedian/actor Will Ferrell, who is part of the LAFC ownership group.