- Taylor missed two penalties in the shootout after he was made to retake his first
- Messi could be seen laughing with Jordi Alba after the midfielder’s second miss
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Lionel Messi couldn’t contain his laughter when Inter Miami teammate Robert Taylor was denied from the penalty spot twice in their pre-season defeat to Vissel Kobe.
Miami’s disastrous pre-season tour ended in fitting fashion on Wednesday night after they were beaten on penalties by Vissel, capping a miserable few weeks in El Salvador, Texas, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and Japan.
Following a 0-0 stalemate in Tokyo, Taylor and Brazilian midfielder Gregore fluffed their lines in the resulting shootout – and the former’s misfortune sparked laughter from Messi.
Taylor missed not one but two spot-kicks on the night, after he was ordered to retake his first unsuccessful attempt when the goalkeeper was deemed to have moved off his line too early.
Yet when he stepped up for a second time, the Finland midfielder’s next effort clip the crossbar and fly over.
Lionel Messi couldn’t contain his laughter when Inter Miami teammate Robert Taylor was denied from the penalty spot twice
Taylor missed two penalties in Miami’s shootout defeat to Vissel Kobe on Wednesday
Messi could be seen laughing and sharing a joke with Jordi Alba after Taylor’s second miss
Messi could be seen laughing with the rest of his teammates after Taylor’s double penalty blow, before appearing to share a joke with fellow ex-Barcelona star Jordi Alba.
However, despite being the team’s star man – and the shootout heading to sudden death – Messi mysteriously didn’t step up to take one of Miami’s spot-kicks.
The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner came off the bench in the 60th minute of normal time and played the final half-hour as well as 30 minutes of extra-time.
He admitted before the game that he was ready to ‘return home’ and he was ‘a little tired’ from the travel.
‘I’m a little tired from this whole tour, [I have] a desire to finish up the last game and to return home,’ Messi said during a press conference.
The silence at the Tokyo stadium was deafening at times during the mostly uninspiring match between the J-League champions and Inter Miami.
The crowd erupted in the loudest cheers of the night when Messi started to warm up shortly after halftime, and the Argentine World Cup winner’s face was shown on the big screen.
The Argentina World Cup winner could not inspire Miami to victory out in Japan on the night
The former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain forward had been suffering with a hamstring issue and only played for seven minutes against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr earlier in pre-season.
David Beckham’s MLS franchise have travelled across the globe in recent weeks, playing two friendlies in Saudi Arabia and one each in both Hong Kong and Japan as they prepare for the new MLS season.
Beckham was roundly booed and fans were chanting ‘refund’ in Hong Kong on Sunday, however, after Messi didn’t come off the bench throughout amid his struggle with injury.