Inter Miami CF earned a 1-0 win over the Charleston Battery at DRV PNK Stadium to advance to the Round of 16 of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, reaching the stage for the second consecutive season. The win continued the team’s positive momentum, following previous results over Miami FC in the Open Cup, and the Columbus Crew and Atlanta United in MLS.
Inter Miami’s starting XI against Charleston featured a few changes following the win over Atlanta United. Nick Marsman started in goal; Chris McVey, Ryan Sailor and Kamal Miller started in defense with Harvey Neville and Franco Negri flanking them as wingbacks; David Ruiz and Victor Ulloa formed the double pivot in midfield; Nicolás Stefanelli, Robert Taylor and Josef Martínez led the team in attack.
Marsman’s start marked his first of 2023, while Ulloa donned the captain’s armband for the first time this season.
Inter Miami probed the Charleston defense for much of the first half, including with notable efforts from Harvey Neville and Taylor.
In the 18th minute, Neville drove into the box and fired from a tight angle, but his shot was saved. Then, in the 32nd minute, Taylor received the ball in a pocket, drove forward, beat a man with a stepover and struck a shot from distance, but his effort was also saved. Then, perhaps the best chance of the half came in the 42nd minute when Negri cut a pass from the left wing to Taylor inside the box, but the Finnish player’s first-time, left-footed effort went just wide.
Despite the hosts’ attempts on goal, and the team controlling 65% of possession, the match remained scoreless heading into halftime.
The second half saw Inter Miami open the scoring in the early stages, with the hosts scoring through a Charleston Battery own goal in the 49th minute after a cross into the box from Neville. Despite further efforts from Inter Miami throughout the remainder of the half, the 1-0 scoreline remained intact until the final whistle and the team sealed its spot in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16.
"The mentality of this group is, at the moment, that they’ve got that little bit between their teeth that’s making them hard to beat, that’s making them fight," said head coach Phil Neville. "It was a cup final for us because we have three more games until we get to the final, so that’s three more finals for us. We want to go far in this competition."
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 16
Inter Miami will now play its Round of 16 fixture on May 23 or 24 against an opponent that will be determined in a draw on Thursday, May 11 at 2 p.m. ET. The draw will be livestreamed on the Bleacher Report App and Bleacher Report Football YouTube page.
Inter Miami will look to build off the momentum in its third consecutive home match this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET, when it hosts the Eastern Conference-leading New England Revolution at DRV PNK Stadium.
MIA - 62.6%
CHS - 37.4%
MIA - 9
CHS - 12
MIA - 1
CHS - 3
MIA - 1
CHS - 4
MIA - 13
CHS - 10