Lionel Messi registered two assists and converted a penalty kick as Inter Miami CF defeated FC Cincinnati 5-4 on penalties following a dramatic 3-3 draw to advance to the 2023 US Open Cup Final.
Miami will play Houston Dynamo in the final, scheduled on September 27 as the club looks to claim its second trophy of the year.
With Miami trailing 2-0 after the hour mark, reigning World Cup champion Lionel Messi twice connected with Leonardo Campana to force extra time on Wednesday night. The 2019 Open Cup champion Josef Martínez then slotted the Herons ahead 3-2 in the 93rd minute, only to have FC Cincinnati’s Yuya Kubo score a 114th minute equalizer to send the match to the penalty kick tie-breaker.
In the shootout, Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender saved the fifth-round attempt from Cincinnati native Nick Hagglund, before Benjamin Cremaschi converted to send Inter Miami to its first U.S. Open Cup Final and second championship match of 2023.