Messi into another final after inspiring Miami comeback

Messi into another final after inspiring miami comeback0

Inter Miami overcame a two-goal deficit to defeat Cincinnati 5-4 on penalties after their dramatic US Open Cup semifinal finished 3-3 after extra time thanks to Lionel Messi’s inspiration.

Miami is currently one victory away from winning their second championship since Messi joined the team last month after defeating Nashville on penalties to win the Leagues Cup on Saturday.

The Florida squad is now a totally different side from the one that was winless in their 11 league games before to the arrival of the Argentine, even though Cincinnati is now top of Major League Soccer’s standings and Miami is at the bottom.

Campana Messi to put us on the scoreboard! 2-1 picture for #CINvMIA.Inter Miami CF (@InterMiamiCF), August 24, 2023.

After adding Messi and the Spanish duo of Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, Miami’s captivating undefeated streak seemed to be coming to an end in Ohio against Cincinnati.

With 22 minutes left in the game, Inter was behind 2-0 when the Argentine gave Leonardo Campana two flawless assists that forced overtime.

Luciano Acosta, a fellow countryman of Messi, gave Cincinnati the lead in the 18th minute, and American striker Brandon Vazquez doubled Cincinnati’s advantage in the 53rd minute with a powerful shot from the outside of the box.

However, Messi’s left-footed free-kick from the 68th minute, which Campana headed in, gave Gerardo Martino’s team some life after they had put up a sluggish performance.

Campana again received a pass from Messi at the back post in the seventh minute of stoppage time, and the Ecuadorian striker directed his header in to force overtime.

Josef Martinez scored a flawless goal to give Miami the lead in the first round after Benjamin Cremaschi slipped a beautiful ball into his path.

However, Cincinnati came back in the second period with to a right-footed goal by Japanese winger Yuya Kubo that went past a leaping Drake Callender and into the far corner.

At 4-4 in the shootout, Nick Hagglund’s penalty for Cincinnati was saved by Callender, and Cremaschi’s conversion put Miami in the championship game.

After Cremaschi’s game-winning penalty strike, Messi congratulated the Argentine-born 18-year-old from Miami.

“I’m living a huge dream,” he stated to CBS Sports. “Sometimes I sit down and really think about the position that I’m in and it’s incredible, I never believed I was going to be in the spot that I am in now,” he said.

The winners of the second semi-final on Wednesday between Houston Dynamo and Real Salt Lake will play Miami.

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