With another brace, soccer world champion Lionel Messi has paved the way for his new US club Inter Miami to reach the quarter-finals of the North American Leagues Cup.

The 36-year-old Argentinian scored twice against FC Dallas in Frisco, Texas, converting a free kick directly into the game in the 85th minute to make it 4-4 after regular time. Miami won 5-3 on penalties, in addition to Messi, the Spaniard Sergio Busquets, who had previously played with him at FC Barcelona for many years, also converted.

In the top eight round, Miami now meets the winner of the Charlotte FC-Houston Dynamo match.

Messi also scored an early lead against Dallas (6th) after assisting Jordi Alba, also a former Barça companion. The Florida team was 4-2 down after 68 minutes but got back into the game with an own goal. Messi had already converted a free kick directly in his first appearance, it was his third brace in a row.