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MLS: Lionel Messi Stars As Inter Miami Win In Front Of Sellout Crowd - In Pics

Argentina football team captain and Inter Miami star Lionel Messi scored his fifth goal and added an assist and Luis Suárez tapped in the winner in the 71st minute as Inter Miami CF defeated Sporting Kansas City 3-2 in front of the third-largest crowd in MLS history. A defensive mistake by Sporting KC player allowed Suarez to convert a Diego Gómez cross pass inside the 6-yard box to give his side the lead. With Inter Miami CF (4-2-3) trailing 1-0 in the 18th minute, Messi assisted on Gomez's first-touch right-footer in the middle of the box to tie it. Messi's left-footed blast from the top of the penalty arc pushed Miami in front 2-1 in the 51st minute. It was his fourth straight MLS game with a goal. The win solidified Inter Miami's top position in the standings with NY Red Bulls behind on goal difference.

MLS soccer: Inter Miami vs Sporting Kansas City Photo: AP/Nick Tre. Smith

Inter Miami forward Lionel Messi reacts to a missed free kick during the first half of an MLS soccer match against Sporting Kansas City in Kansas City, Mo.

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MLS soccer: Inter Miami vs Sporting Kansas City
MLS soccer: Inter Miami vs Sporting Kansas City Photo: AP/Nick Tre. Smith

Inter Miami forward Luis Suárez (9) points in celebration in front of cheering fans after scoring against Sporting Kansas city during the second half of an MLS soccer match in Kansas City, Mo.

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MLS soccer: Inter Miami vs Sporting Kansas City
MLS soccer: Inter Miami vs Sporting Kansas City Photo: AP/Nick Tre. Smith

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Erik Thommy (26) celebrates after a score during the first half of an MLS soccer match against Inter Miami in Kansas City, Mo.

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MLS soccer: Inter Miami vs Sporting Kansas City
MLS soccer: Inter Miami vs Sporting Kansas City Photo: AP/Nick Tre. Smith

A pitch invader is tackled by security during the second half of an MLS soccer match between Sporting Kansas City and Inter Miami in Kansas City, Mo.

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MLS soccer: Inter Miami vs Sporting Kansas City
MLS soccer: Inter Miami vs Sporting Kansas City Photo: AP/Nick Tre. Smith

Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia (29) gets set in goal as Inter Miami's Lionel Messi approaches the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer match against Inter Miami in Kansas City, Mo.

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MLS soccer: Inter Miami vs Sporting Kansas City
MLS soccer: Inter Miami vs Sporting Kansas City Photo: AP/Nick Tre. Smith

A young fan runs onto the pitch to hug Inter Miami forward Lionel Messi (10) during the second half of the team's MLS soccer match against Sporting Kansas City in Kansas City, Mo.

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MLS soccer: Inter Miami vs Sporting Kansas City
MLS soccer: Inter Miami vs Sporting Kansas City Photo: AP/Nick Tre. Smith

Sporting Kansas City defender Andreu Fontàs (3) attempts to gain control of the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer match against Inter Miami in Kansas City, Mo.AP Photo/Nick Tre. Smith

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MLS soccer: Inter Miami vs Sporting Kansas City
MLS soccer: Inter Miami vs Sporting Kansas City Photo: AP/Nick Tre. Smith

Inter Miami forward Lionel Messi attempts a header during the first half of an MLS soccer match against Sporting Kansas City in Kansas City, Mo.

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MLS soccer: Inter Miami vs Sporting Kansas City
MLS soccer: Inter Miami vs Sporting Kansas City Photo: AP/Nick Tre. Smith

Inter Miami forward Lionel Messi, front right, shields off Sporting Kansas City forward Dániel Sallói, left, during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Kansas City, Mo.

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MLS soccer: Inter Miami vs Sporting Kansas City
MLS soccer: Inter Miami vs Sporting Kansas City Photo: AP/Nick Tre. Smith

Inter Miami forward Lionel Messi (10) jogs to his position during the first half of an MLS soccer match against Sporting Kansas City in Kansas City, Mo.

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