Messi wins 44th title after guiding Inter Miami to Leagues Cup triumph

Lionel Messi. [Major Soccer League]

Lionel Messi extended his prolific scoring run as Inter Miami beat Nashville 10-9 on penalties to win the Leagues Cup final on Saturday.

The Argentine World Cup winner put the hosts ahead in the 23rd minute at Nashville's Geodis Park when he cut onto his favored left foot and drilled an unstoppable shot into the top-left corner.

The hosts equalized just before the hour through Fafa Picault, who nodded home from close range after Sam Surridge's headed flick from a corner.

Both sides had chances to win in the dramatic final stages of the allotted 90 minutes.

Nashville's Sam Surridge saw his angled finish palmed away by goalkeeper Drake Callender before Messi and Leonardo Campana both hit the post for the visitors as the game finished 1-1 at the final whistle.

Callender made two saves in the shootout before converting the decisive penalty to send his teammates and Inter Miami's fans into wild celebrations.

Messi has now scored nine times in six matches since joining the Florida outfit - which is partly owned by former England captain David Beckham - on a free transfer last month.

The Leagues Cup is an annual competition featuring clubs from the United States, Canada and Mexico.

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