After having to go on the road to win the Leagues Cup 2023 title, Inter Miami CF will host the Houston Dynamo for the U.S. Open Cup final on September 27th at DRV PNK Stadium, following the results of tonight's semifinals. The Dynamo also secured a spot in next year’s CONCACAF Champions Cup.
Just over a month after the club earned its first-ever title, Inter Miami will have a chance to win its second title. The Houston Dynamo is back in the U.S. Open Cup Final for the first time since the club won the tournament five years ago in 2018.
FC Cincinnati 3 (4-5) 3 Inter Miami CF
Just days following a Leagues Cup title win, Inter Miami CF went back on the road and continued its unbeaten streak by eliminating FC Cincinnati following a 5-4 penalty shootout win. For the second time since Lionel Messi’s arrival, the team's fate rested on the shoulders of Benjamin Cremaschi, who cooly converted his penalty to send his club to the U.S. Open Cup Final.
Despite Messi not scoring for the first time since he joined the club, he had the most important assist of the night.
In the seventh minute of stoppage time, Messi collected the ball on the left side of the pitch in the attacking area. After taking a few steps, we swiftly sent a long diagonal ball toward the right flank of the box, finding Leonardo Campana near the far right post.
The forward headed the ball past a helpless goalkeeper to make it 2-2 and send the match into extra time.
FC Cincinnati had TQL Stadium rocking earlier in the match. Team captain Lucha Acosta opened the score sheet in the 18th minute. Then Brandon Vazquez doubled the team’s lead in the 53rd to make it 2-0.
But Messi and Co. proved to be inevitable. In the 68th minute, Messi found Campana off a free kick to make it 2-1 before their connection for the end-of-regulation equalizer.
Inter Miami took the lead in the 93rd minute in extra time thanks to a Josef Martinez goal. But FC Cincinnati’s Yuya Kubo pulled the home team back even to make it 3-3 and forced the match to penalties.
Neither team missed from the spot in the first four rounds of shots, but in round five Inter Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender made his save to set the stage for Cremaschi to convert his penalty and send the club to the final.
Houston 3-1 Real Salt Lake (aet)
Just before the end of the first period of stoppage time, Houston Dynamo midfielder Adalberto Carrasquilla decided to take matters into his own hands. Or foot.
With the ball at his feet about 15 yards away from the box, Carrasquilla kicked it into a new gear, dribbled it through the tired RSL defense, and fired a shot just inside the top of the box. His goal sent the Dynamo to the U.S. Open Cup final following a 3-1 win after extra time.
Luis Caicedo added the insurance goal for the Dynamo in the fifth minute of extra time stoppage time.
One goal in each half for both clubs was all they could muster in 120 minutes of regulation.
The Dynamo broke the scoreless draw in the fourth minute of stoppage time of the first half. After a Real Salt Lake defender failed to properly clear a desperation cross into the box, the loss ball eventually spilled to Hector Herrera, who snuck the ball past a defender and the goalkeeper to make it 1-0. Houston seemed to have doubled its lead before the half, but the goal was called off following a VAR review.
RSL’s Anderson Julio equalized in the 63rd minute. Teammate Jefferson Savarino had the ball to the right of the penalty area. With space, he sent a short cross into the box, and an oncoming Julio beat his defender to the ball and headed in the tying goal.