Lionel Messi Inspires Incredible Comeback as Inter Miami Clinches Spot in US Open Cup Final

Lionel Messi Inspires Incredible Comeback as Inter Miami Clinches Spot in US Open Cup Final

In a grueling journey through the Leagues Cup, Lionel Messi and Inter Miami demonstrated their unwavering determination, consistently conjuring magic on the field despite their fatigue. This resilience was once again evident in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals, where they faced off against FC Cincinnati.

Starting with a 2-0 deficit against the formidable MLS table-toppers, Inter Miami seemed to be in a tight spot. FC Cincinnati asserted their dominance, resembling true leaders in the Supporters’ Shield race for the initial hour.

However, the narrative took a dramatic turn as Messi played a pivotal role, delivering two crucial assists to Leo Campana, enabling a late comeback. The second assist came deep into added time, seven minutes beyond regulation, leveling the score at an exhilarating 2-2.

The momentum shifted further during extra time when Josef Martinez capitalized on a pass from substitute Benji Cremaschi, securing the lead for Inter Miami. Nevertheless, FC Cincinnati refused to concede defeat, responding with determination.

Yuma Kubo’s goal in the 114th minute equalized the score once again, setting the stage for an intense finish. You may also check Pro Wrestling Icon Terry Funk, 79, Passes Away.

Inter Miami, determined to reclaim the advantage, came agonizingly close to equalizing as Messi skillfully set up Diego Gómez inside the penalty area. However, FC Cincinnati’s goalkeeper Alec Kann pulled off an incredible point-blank save, denying the Argentine attacker’s shot.

The first half of extra time saw Inter Miami pushing for opportunities. Brazilian midfielder Jean Mota attempted a powerful shot from 25 yards out, narrowly missing the target. Shortly after, DeAndre Yedlin’s delivery found Gómez near the post, but his header fell wide of the mark.

FC Cincinnati managed to extend their lead to 2-0 early in the second half, courtesy of USMNT forward Brandon Vazquez. A well-timed pass over Miami’s defense found Santiago Arias, who then assisted Vazquez with a precise feed. The striker’s thunderous shot found the net in the 53rd minute, amplifying the pressure on Inter Miami.

Responding to the challenge, Inter Miami showcased their fighting spirit. A Messi free kick, earned after a foul on Facundo Farias, was perfectly placed for Leonardo Campana, who headed the ball into the net from six yards, narrowing the deficit to 2-1 in the 68th minute.

The Messi-Campana duo continued to threaten FC Cincinnati’s defense. In the 83rd minute, Messi’s cross found Campana, who controlled the ball but sent his subsequent effort over the crossbar from close range. You should also read Star Jets WR Corey Davis Shocks NFL with Sudden Retirement After 6 Seasons .

As the clock ticked down, FC Cincinnati nearly sealed the victory during second-half stoppage time. Substitute Sergio Santos made a dangerous run down the left flank and provided a pass to Arias, whose shot was thwarted by a save from Callender, pushing the game to the edge.

However, Inter Miami’s spirit remained unbreakable. In the seventh minute of second-half stoppage time, Messi orchestrated yet another precise cross, allowing Campana to rise above the defenders and secure his second goal of the match, leveling the score at 3-3 and forcing extra time.

Carrying the momentum from the late equalizer, Inter Miami wasted no time in extra time. A defensive error from FC Cincinnati gifted possession to Jordi Alba, who quickly fed the ball to substitute Benjamin Cremaschi. The young Homegrown Player efficiently set up Josef Martínez, who confidently fired a low shot past Kann, granting Inter Miami a 3-2 advantage.

FC Cincinnati, however, remained patient and found their equalizer through two substitutes in the 114th minute. A low cross from Bret Hasley reached Yuya Kubo, who made no mistake in slotting the ball past Callender, resulting in a thrilling 3-3 tie and ultimately leading to a penalty shootout.

The penalty shootout witnessed Callender’s crucial save in the fifth round, denying Nick Hagglund’s attempt and paving the way for Cremaschi to seal the victory with his spot-kick.

This victory propelled Inter Miami to yet another Cup final, a remarkable feat achieved just days after their inaugural trophy win. Throughout this journey, Messi’s influence remained unblemished in the vibrant pink of Inter Miami’s jersey.

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