Inter Miami CF played its first-ever final at DRV PNK Stadium on a historic Wednesday night, but the team’s come-from-behind effort fell just short, resulting in a 1-2 loss against the Houston Dynamo in the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final. Forward Josef Martínez scored the team’s goal on the night in Inter Miami’s second final this season.
Drake Callender started in goal; DeAndre Yedlin, Sergii Kryvtsov, Kamal Miller and Noah Allen started in defense; Sergio Busquets, Benjamin Cremaschi and Diego Gómez lined up in midfield; Facundo Farías and Robert Taylor started on the wings alongside striker Leonardo Campana.
Early defensive interventions from Miller and Callender helped keep things even through the first stages of the match. Notably, Callender made a double save in the 22nd minute, diving at full extension to deny a shot from the edge of the box and then reacting quickly to save the follow up with a kick of his right leg.
Then, in the 24th minute, Houston found its opening from a quick counter, capped off with a powerful strike into the roof of the net by Griffin Dorsey to make it 0-1. The visitors then added to their lead in the 33rd minute when Amine Bassi scored from the spot after a penalty was called, making it 0-2 heading into halftime.
The hosts made two impactful changes at halftime, bringing on Dixon Arroyo and Martínez for Gómez and Taylor; the chances began to flow for Inter Miami following the substitutions.
Notably, a 56th minute free kick from Farías, taken long distance, was lofted in behind the defense, where Martínez met the pass with a header that drifted just narrowly wide. Then, just four minutes later, Cremaschi led a swift move in transition before receiving a return pass in the box and firing a shot at goal that drew a sprawling save.
Inter Miami continued insisting in the final third of the pitch and was finally rewarded with a goal in the dying moments, with Martínez finding the back of the net in the second minute of added time. The Venezuelan forward received a ball from Farías inside the left end of the opposition’s box before firing a left-footed shot to the first post to score the 1-2. The goal was Martínez’s second in the 2023 U.S. Open Cup, while the assist was the first for Farías in the competition.
Despite the team’s efforts in attack in the final moments of the match, the 1-2 scoreline remained unmoved and Inter Miami finished as runners up in the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
"The reality is that today Houston was better than us… Now we have a final on Saturday, and another on Wednesday. There is nothing to complain about, we are going to keep trying" said head coach Gerardo 'Tata' Martino.
Next Inter Miami will close out the week with another match at DRV PNK Stadium, with the team hosting New York City FC this Saturday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. ET for MLS regular season action.
MIA - 58.7%
HOU - 41.3%
MIA - 12
HOU - 19
MIA - 3
HOU - 3
MIA - 6
HOU - 5
MIA - 8
HOU - 10