Since his arrival in the United States, Lionel Messi has remained undefeated, delighting his countless fans and demonstrating that even on his off days, he possesses the spark to give his team a winning chance.
Miami, with the addition of Messi, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba, is determined to secure their second title. However, in their latest match, the trio seemed fatigued after a grueling schedule of eight games in just 32 days.
The TQL Stadium in Cincinnati witnessed the action as Luciano Acosta scored the opening goal in the 18th minute. Brandon Vázquez added another for Miami at the 53rd minute, igniting the hopes of the 25,513 spectators who had turned up for the U.S. Open Cup semifinal.
Messi’s Heroics and Miami’s Triumph
But it was Messi who stole the show in the second half. With his magical left foot, he orchestrated two headers by Leonardo Campana, leading to extra time. A free-kick delivery from Messi set up the Ecuadorian forward’s first goal in the 68th minute, followed by a dramatic looping cross that he converted with a header in the 90th+7 minute, silencing the TQL Stadium crowd.
In the first half of extra time, Miami thought they had secured victory when Josef Martínez (93′) found the back of the net, capitalizing on a quick counterattack facilitated by Cremaschi’s turnover conversion. However, Cincy’s substitute Yuya Kubo (114′) responded with an equalizer, rekindling hope for the home side.
Recap of the Game
Prior to the dramatic finish, Cincinnati had taken the lead with goals from captain Luciano Acosta (18′) and US men’s national team striker Brandon Vazquez (53′). Acosta capitalized on a chaotic sequence within Miami’s defense, while Vazquez unleashed a powerful shot from 25 yards out.
Messi Leads Miami to the USOC Final
Ultimately, it was Messi and Inter Miami who secured their spot in the US Open Cup final. This victory adds to the excitement of a remarkable summer, with the additional prospect of competing for the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup already secured. You may aslo read Remembering Toto Cutugno: The Iconic Voice Behind “L’Italiano” Who Bridged Cultures.
The excitement doesn’t pause for long, as Inter Miami will be back in action soon. Their next match is against the New York Red Bulls, scheduled for a 7 p.m. ET kickoff at Red Bull Arena.
Strong Performance Despite Recent Setback
Despite being eliminated in the 16th round of the Leagues Cup by Nashville on penalties at the TQL Stadium, Inter Miami continues to lead the Eastern Conference of the MLS. With 51 points from 15 wins, 6 draws, and only 3 losses, the team’s high-pressure, fast-transition style of play consistently generates dangerous goal-scoring opportunities.
Key Players and Strategies
Inter Miami’s playing style, under the guidance of Pat Noonan, focuses on high pressure, rapid transitions, and constant vertical play that creates significant goal-scoring chances. African forward Aaron Boupendza poses a significant threat with his ability to maneuver across the entire attacking front. You should aslo check National MP Michael Woodhouse Denies Linking Gender to List Ranking Drop.
The team boasts other notable figures, including Colombian defenders Santiago Arias and Yerson Mosquera, as well as Argentine players Luciano Acosta and Alvaro Barreal.
Facing Messi A Challenge and a Strategy
Right-back Arias shared his thoughts on facing Messi ahead of the crucial match: “I’m not sure how to stop him. It’s a team effort, trying to win the ball from him. We know it’s not easy. Everyone is aware of Messi’s offensive prowess, his quality, and his skill.
We’ll do our best not to let him dominate the game,” he affirmed.The upcoming challenge will be decided in 90 minutes, with the possibility of penalty shootouts in case of a tie.