Lionel Messi’s ‘Hockey Assist’ Helps Inter Miami Secure Win Over Real Salt Lake in 2024 MLS Opener

Lionel Messi’s ‘Hockey Assist’ Helps Inter Miami Secure Win Over Real Salt Lake in 2024 MLS Opener

Joel Reyes
February 22, 2024 at 7:12 AM
In this article:
Lionel Messi logo
Inter Miami CF logoFArgentina logo
Inter Miami CF logo
Club Internacional de Futbol Miami
United States
  • Inter Miami defeated Real Salt Lake in their MLS opener on Wednesday night
  • Lionel Messi had a hand in both of Inter Miami's goals against Real Salt Lake
  • Messi's 'hockey assist' in the second half helped the Herons secure a victory

Inter Miami started their 2024 MLS season on a winning note, beating Real Salt Lake 2-0 at Chase Stadium on Wednesday night.

Robert Taylor and Diego Gomez scored the goals for the Herons, who grabbed sole possession of first place in the team standings.

To no one's surprise, it was Lionel Messi who stole the show in the season opener.

Lionel Messi, Inter Miami, MLS, Real Salt Lake
Lionel Messi in action for Inter Miami against Real Salt Lake. Image: CHANDAN KHANNA.
Source: Getty Images

Messi dazzles with hockey assist

The Argentine star played a part in both of Inter Miami's goals, per Yahoo Sports.

He recorded an assist just before the half-time break, issuing a perfect through pass to Robert Taylor, who went on to score with a powerful right-footed shot.

Messi was not credited with an assist for Inter Miami's second goal, but he was the one who started that attacking sequence.

He dribbled his way up the middle of the field after Real Salt Lake surrendered possession cheaply. Messi drew the attention of three defenders, who were in a state of panic as the Inter Miami forward headed towards the penalty box.

Messi slipped a quick pass to former Barca teammate, Luis Suarez, who was making his MLS debut with Inter Miami.

The Uruguayan showed great awareness, issuing a first-time pass to Gomez, who made a fantastic run on the right side of the box.

Gomez took full advantage of Messi and Suarez's link-up play, slotting his shot attempt into the back of the net to secure the win for Inter Miami.

Messi may not have gotten the assist in that play, but fans praised him for his 'hockey assist' on social media. In the National Hockey League, a player gets a hockey assist when he delivers the pass to the player who creates the goal.

That was the case here, with Messi attracting the defence and delivering the pass to Suarez before his assist to Gomez.

Messi called a menace after flick play

Sports Brief recently reported on Messi being branded a menace for his play against Real Salt Lake.

The Argentine World Cup winner humiliated an injured opponent during the first half on Wednesday.

He flicked the ball over the Real Salt Lake player, who was lying on the ground, before taking a shot.

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Joel Reyes
Joel Reyes is a sports editor at with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines. He has eight years of work experience in sports writing.