Major League Soccer: Lionel Messi brace helps Inter Miami beat Nashville

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi scored his sixth and seventh goals of the season while adding his sixth assist in between and Inter Miami overcame an early deficit to earn a 3-1 victory over visiting Nashville SC (April 20) night.

Messi's second goal of the match came from the penalty spot late in the second half to effectively seal the outcome. Messi began the weekend one goal behind five players tied for the MLS lead with six goals, including Miami teammate Luis Suarez

Sergio Busquets also scored for Inter Miami (5-2-3, 18 points), who won back-to-back league matches for the first time this season.

Nashville (1-3-4, seven points) took an early lead thanks to a Miami own goal forced in part by Daniel Lovitz's well-placed corner kick, but it couldn't avoid a second consecutive defeat

Nashville SC manager Gary Smith pulled goalkeeper Elliot Joseph Panicco at halftime in favor of Joe Willis after Panicco conceded two goals and also had moments of sloppy distribution from the back.

Miami saw midfielder Diego Gomez stretchered off the pitch with an injury in the 41st minute. In the 51st, Nashville defender Lukas MacNaughton exited with his own issue

Miami led 2-1 after a first half that might have had even more goals if not for one goal-line clearance at each end and Messi striking the post on another effort.

Before all that, Nashville took the lead in the second minute when Lovitz served an inswinging corner kick from the right side that defender Franco Negri turned into his own net off his thigh.

The advantage lasted only nine minutes, and Messi's first goal pulled the Herons level.

It was Suarez's clever first-touch pass that freed Messi into the left side of the penalty area, and the Argentine then sent a cool, low finish past Panicco.

Then it was Miami's turn to capitalize on a corner kick. Messi sent a pass from the right toward the near post where Busquets met it and redirected a header past Panicco, who had little time to react.