Inter Miami showcased resilience and determination in the US Open Cup semi-final encounter against FC Cincinnati, recovering from a 2-0 deficit to qualify for the final of the tournament.
The 36-year-old Argentine forward, who joined the team recently, played a pivotal role in the semi-final, delivering two crucial assists in a high-octane match that eventually concluded with a 3-3 scoreline after extra time.
Goal-less yet influential
While the semi-final marked the first instance in which Lionel Messi failed to find the back of the net for Inter Miami, his influence on the game remained undeniable.
Messi’s orchestrating prowess was evident through his two vital assists, both of which led to headers by Ecuadorian striker Leonardo Campana. These assists played a pivotal role in Inter Miami’s late equalizer, forcing the match into extra time.
As the game reached a dramatic climax, Messi stepped up to convert a decisive penalty during the shootout, sealing Inter Miami’s victory with a nerve-wracking 5-4 win in Ohio.
Inter Miami’s emergence after Messi’s inclusion
Inter Miami’s recent string of accomplishments underscores the impact of their recent signings, most notably Lionel Messi, as well as his former Barcelona comrades, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba.
The team’s unbeaten run of eight games following Messi’s arrival highlights a marked improvement in performance, culminating in their triumph in the Leagues Cup just days before their thrilling US Open Cup semi-final win.
Journey to US Open Cup Final
The upcoming US Open Cup final signifies an unprecedented milestone for Inter Miami. Formed as an expansion team in 2020, the club has swiftly ascended to a competitive force in American soccer.
Overcoming the adversity of a 2-0 deficit in the semi-final, Inter Miami is now poised to face the Houston Dynamo in the final, scheduled for September 27th.
The team’s path to the US Open Cup final, an esteemed and time-honoured knockout football competition that traces back to 1913, underscores their meteoric rise within the national football landscape.
This remarkable journey serves as a testament to both the team’s unwavering determination and the game-changing impact of Lionel Messi’s integration into their ranks.