Match Recap

MATCH RECAP: Inter Miami CF Advances to U.S. Open Cup Final With Win Over FC Cincinnati

WhatsApp Image 2023-08-24 at 12.06.58 AM

Inter Miami CF clinched a spot in its first-ever Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final tonight by defeating FC Cincinnati in penalties on the road at TQL Stadium. The thriller that finished tied 3-3 after extra time saw strikers Leonardo Campana and Josef Martínez score the team’s goals on the night, bagging a brace and a goal respectively, with a pair of assists from captain Lionel Messi and one from Academy product Benjamin Cremaschi, who also netted the winning penalty.

Lineup Notes

Inter Miami took the field in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals fixture with a starting XI featuring Drake Callender in goal; DeAndre Yedlin, Kamal Miller, Sergii Kryvtsov, Tomás Avilés and Jordi Alba formed a backline of five; Diego Gómez, Sergio Busquets and Jean Mota started in midfield; captain Messi and Campana led the team’s attack.

Tonight’s match saw Avilés make his Inter Miami debut as part of the starting XI, while midfielder Mota also featured among the starters to make his return to the team after suffering an injury on the road against the Columbus Crew on April 29.

Match Action

Both teams kicked off the match in search of finding the opener, but it was the hosts that struck first in the 18th minute, with midfielder Luciano Acosta scoring after a scramble inside the box to put FC Cincinnati 1-0 ahead.

Inter Miami fought in search of the equalizer following the first goal of the match, but it was Cincinnati that netted again in the early stages of the second half. Forward Brandon Vázquez sent a grounded shot from outside the box to the back of the net in the 53rd minute of action to put the hosts up 2-0 on the scoreboard.

Inter Miami then responded 15 minutes later with Campana netting to get the team back into the match in the 68th minute. The Ecuadorian striker scored with a thumping header at the near post following a delivery from a free kick opportunity from Messi. The goal was the first for Campana in the 2023 U.S. Open Cup and his overall fifth of the campaign, while the assist was Messi’s fifth since joining the team.

Subsequently, just when it seemed as if the result was going the host’s way, Campana came up with a crucial play in attack to find the equalizer in the seventh minute of added time. Messi once again found Campana inside the box, this time with a sublime cross from the left side of the field, enabling the forward to send the ball to the back of the net with a header to the far post to put 2-2 on the scoreboard and send the match to extra time. The goal was Campana’s sixth in all competitions this year, with the assist being Messi’s sixth for Inter Miami in just eight appearances.

Inter Miami then was able to take the lead for the first time in the match during the first 15 minutes of extra time. In the 93rd minute of action, Homegrown midfielder and second-half substituteCremaschi slotted a pass in between defenders to find Martínez inside the box, where the Venezuelan goalscorer finished with a first time right-footed strike to beat the keeper and put the visitors up 2-3 on the scoreboard. The goal was Martínez’s first in 2023 U.S. Open Cup action and his 10th overall this season to equal Messi as the team’s leading scorer, while the assist was Cremaschi’s first in the competition and his overall second this season.

Cincinnati, however, were able to send the match to penalties with a goal by forward Yuya Kubo in the 114th minute. 

All Inter Miami kickers converted from the spot - Messi, Facundo Farías, who made his team debut on the night after coming on in the second half, second half substitute David Ruiz, Martínez and Cremaschi, with the team topping Cincinnati 4-5 in the penalty shootout to advance to the team’s second final in Club history in just one week.

With the win, Inter Miami advanced to the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final for the first time and is now one game away from conquering the Club’s second official trophy. The team will now face the winner of the semifinals clash between the Houston Dynamo and Real Salt Lake on Sept. 27.

Post-Match Reaction

"The good thing about all of this is that we didn’t put our heads down, we kept trying, and decided this semifinal. It’s not easy to completely turn a semifinal match around,” said head coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino. “We’ve been able to overcome many matches, more as a result of the team’s character than its play, and obviously for having the best player in the world with us, and we each take turns to get behind him. The expectations keep growing as we face each challenge, but the exhaustion we have is overcome with the excitement we get from moving on in each stage.”

Next Match

Inter Miami will now close out the week by resuming 2023 MLS regular season action, with the team set to take on the New York Red Bulls on the road at Red Bull Arena this Saturday, Aug. 26 at 7:30 p.m. ET.



CIN - 41.8%

MIA - 58.2%


CIN - 22

MIA - 11


CIN - 3

MIA - 6


CIN - 6

MIA - 2


CIN - 22

MIA - 18