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In a captivating Major League Soccer showdown, Inter Miami CF, led by the inimitable Lionel Messi, clawed their way back to secure a 3-3 draw against St. Louis City on Saturday night. The match saw Messi scoring his 12th goal of the season, marking his final MLS appearance before joining the Argentine national team for the Copa America.

Inter Miami, now boasting a record of 10-3-5 with 35 points, climbed two points clear at the top of both the Eastern Conference and the overall MLS standings. They are trailed by second-place FC Cincinnati, which has 33 points and did not play on Saturday.

The match began with St. Louis City taking the lead, showcasing their offensive prowess early on. However, Inter Miami’s resilience came to the fore as their star-studded lineup, featuring Messi, Luis Suárez, and Jordi Alba, orchestrated a remarkable comeback.

Lionel Messi continued his sensational form, finding the back of the net to level the scores and notch up his 12th goal of the season. This tally places him just one goal behind the MLS leaders Cristian Arango of Real Salt Lake and Christian Benteke of D.C. United. Remarkably, Messi’s 12 goals have come in just 12 games, compared to Arango’s 16 and Benteke’s 15, highlighting his extraordinary efficiency.

Luis Suárez, another formidable presence in Inter Miami’s attacking arsenal, also scored his 12th goal of the season. The Uruguayan forward’s contribution was pivotal, as his goal kept Miami within touching distance throughout the match.

As the clock ticked towards the end of regulation time, Jordi Alba emerged as the hero for Inter Miami. His goal in the 85th minute ensured the team salvaged a crucial point from the encounter, maintaining their momentum at the summit of the standings.

With his immediate club commitments concluded, Lionel Messi now turns his attention to international duty. The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner will join Argentina in their quest to defend the Copa America title, a trophy they last won in 2021. That triumph was particularly poignant for Messi, as it marked his first major title with the national team, filling a significant void in his illustrious career.

As Messi departs for international duty, Inter Miami will look to maintain their position atop the MLS standings. The absence of their talisman will be keenly felt, but the team boasts enough talent and depth to navigate this period successfully.

With both Messi and Suárez tied at 12 goals apiece, and the team riding high, Inter Miami’s fans have much to look forward to in the coming weeks. The thrilling draw against St. Louis City not only showcased the team’s fighting spirit but also set the stage for an exciting run towards the end of the season.

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