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Messi helps Inter Miami rally to reach US Open Cup final

2023 Aug 24, 16:58, WASHINGTON

Lionel Messi provided two assists as Inter Miami rallied from two goals down to reach the US Open Cup final with a 5-4 penalty shootout victory over Cincinnati on Wednesday.

Luciano Acosta and Brandon Vazquez struck either side of halftime for the hosts before Messi began orchestrating a revival.

The 36-year-old Argentina captain first delivered an inch-perfect free kick from the left flank into the path of Leonardo Campana, who powered a header past goalkeeper Alec Kann.

Ecuador international forward Campana then latched onto another sumptuous Messi cross to nod home an equalizer in the last minute of stoppage time.

The visitors went ahead in the third minute of extra-time when Venezuela international forward Josef Martinez finished coolly on the counterattack. But Yuya Kubo's 114th-minute strike ensured the match would be decided on penalties.

Messi converted Inter Miami's first attempt of the shootout and his 18-year-old compatriot Benjamin Cremaschi buried the decisive spot-kick after Nick Hagglund's miss

Miami have now won all eight matches they have played since Messi joined the club in mid-July, including the Leagues Cup final against Nashville last Saturday.

Messi has been instrumental to the Florida outfit's run of success with 10 goals and three assists.

Inter Miami will play either Houston Dynamo or Real Salt Lake in the final on September 27.


Lionel Messi Inter Miami US Open Cup final Cincinnati Josef Martinez Leagues Cup final Houston Dynamo Real Salt Lake
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