Leagues Cup Semifinals Recap

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Inter Miami CF stormed into the Leagues Cup final with another flurry of goals on Tuesday evening, as the Florida outfit saw off the Philadelphia Union 4-1 at Subaru Park.

It was the visitors who opened the scoring early on - a feat they’ve made a habit of this summer, having broken the deadlock in all of their games so far. As was the case in the quarter-final against Charlotte FC, it was Josef Martínez who struck first, his first-time shot across goal wrong-footing Andre Blake.

As has become custom this summer, Lionel Messi soon found the net as well, for his ninth goal of the competition. Another recent arrival in Jordi Alba would also add his name to the scoresheet just before the break - the former Barcelona man scoring his first for Inter Miami, and his 50th career goal overall.

The hosts would not take the result lying down though, and fought throughout the second half to pull one back. That goal eventually came from captain Alejandro Bedoya, who was making his return from an injury absence. It was too little too late for Jim Curtin’s men, though, as Miami native David Ruiz soon added the cherry on the cake by scoring his team’s fourth of the evening to put the result beyond any doubt.

Messi and his teammates now have their spot in next year’s CONCACAF Champions Cup guaranteed, and are 90 minutes away from Leagues Cup glory.

The music kept playing in the Music City as Nashville SC defeated CF Monterrey 2-0 in a tightly contested semifinal match in front of a capacity crowd as GEODIS Park. Nashville not only secured a spot in the Leagues Cup 2023 final, but also a spot in the 2024 CONCACAF Champions Cup. Rayados became the the last LIGA MX club to be eliminated from the tournament.

Nashville’s game-winning goal came in the 67th minute. Defending Major League Soccer MVP Heny Makhtar dribbled the ball down the middle of the pitch and kicked out a pass to his left for the oncoming Sam Surrige. On his first touch, Surridge beat the goalkeeper to find the back of the net.

Fafá Picault put the match away for Nashville when he scored in the sixth minute of stoppage time as Rayados tried desperately to launch a final attack.

CF Monterrey had been putting pressure on the Nashville defense late in the match with wave after wave of attacks. Nashville goalkeeper Elliot Panicco had to come up with highlight-reel saves in the 85th minute and the 90th minute to preserve the one-gal lead.

Nashville SC will now host Inter Miami CF for the Leagues Cup 2023 final this Saturday night.