Messi stars in front of record New England crowd as Miami beats Revolution

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass., April 28, (AP): Lionel Messi scored two goals to excite a New England Revolution-record crowd, leading Inter Miami CF to a 4-1 victory.
Messi didn’t disappoint the crowd of 65,612 that filled Gillette Stadium, scoring on a left-footed kick from deep inside the box for his ninth goal of the season, breaking a 1-all tie in the 68th minute.

He made a little history, too. Miami posted on the social platform X that he was the first player in MLS history to record 16 goal contributions in his first seven games of a season.
“He’s done it his whole life. We expect it from him,” said teammate Benjamin Cremaschi, who scored the third goal after Messi’s shot was stopped. “He makes it look so easy. We’re just happy that we have him by our side. When he has the opportunity, he takes it.”

The attendance beat the previous record of 61,316 when the Revolution lost to the LA Galaxy in the 2002 MLS final.
In the opening half, he was a few feet inside the box, scoring on a left-foot kick to tie it at 1-1 in the 32nd minute.

“I thought in the first half, after (our) goal, we had them locked up pretty good,” New England coach Caleb Porter said. “They weren’t getting many chances, they weren’t getting a lot of time and space to operate. Then Messi did what he does, he found a crack.”
When the 36-year-old 2022 World Cup winner scored, loud cheers echoed around the stands in a match that featured the Eastern Conference’s first-place Miami against the last-place Revolution.

Cremaschi and Luis Suarez both scored late for Miami. Messi was credited with an assist on Suarez’s goal.
The Revolution had made it 1-0 in the opening minute when Tomas Chancalay beat a defender and dropped a shot over goaltender Drake Callender, who was charging out.
Even with the local winter professional teams – the Celtics and Bruins – both in the playoffs, much of the sports landscape centered around Messi’s visit this week.

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