Messi, Inter Miami lose to Saudi Arabian team Al-Hilal
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Lionel Messi and Inter Miami kicked off their tour of Saudi Arabia by losing to Al-Hilal 4-3 on Monday.
The Major League Soccer team is playing two games in the oil-rich kingdom as part of its preseason preparations, but even Messi could not inspire it to victory in Riyadh.
While Messi got on the score sheet with a second-half penalty, Malcom came up with the decisive goal to win the match in the 88th.
Al-Hilal had been strongly linked with a move for Messi when he left Paris Saint-Germain and became the most sought-after free agent in the sport last year.
He ultimately opted for a move to the United States to join David Beckham's Miami and quickly led the team to its first trophy, the Leagues Cup.
He and Miami will be hoping for even more success in his first full season and, the preparations include an extensive tour with stops in Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and Japan.
A potential showdown with Cristiano Ronaldo's Al-Nasser on Thursday is the most anticipated match.
Former Newcastle and Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic put Al-Hilal ahead in the 10th minute and Abdullah Al-Hamdan doubled the lead three minutes later.
Another of Miami's superstar signings, Luis Suarez, pulled one back but Al-Hilal's two-goal advantage was restored in the 44th by Michael.
Messi's moment came in the 54th, and a minute later David Ruiz evened the score.
Just when Miami looked to have a draw, Malcom came up with the winner.
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