Inter Miami CF has earned its second final in less than a week after advancing on penalties against FC Cincinnati in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals. Last Sunday Messi was crowned the Leagues Cup champion. After a 3-3 draw and a penalty shootout win, he’s one step away from another trophy.
The Argentine forward was the face of Leagues Cup 2023, not just because he turned around the worst team in Major League Soccer, but he was also the tournament’s lead scorered. He scored in all of Inter Miami’s matches (seven total) and wound up with ten goals for the tournament.
In his first match after that title-winning run, Messi failed to score for the first time. But he still had a hand in two of the club’s three goals. Another interesting streak ended: it was the first time Inter Miami’s opponent scored first.
In Messi’s debut with Inter Miami, Robert Taylor scored in the 44th minute to start the match’s scoring in a game the club won 2-1 over Cruz Azul. Messi notched his first goal with his new club in stoppage time for the win.
In the second match of the group stage, Messi scored the first goal just eight minutes into a match the club would win 4-0 over Atlanta United FC.
In the round of 32, Messi needed just seven minutes to make it 1-0 before Inter Miami went on to win 3-1. In the round of 16, Messi opened the scoring again, this time in six minutes, en route to a 4-4 draw and eventual penalty shootout in.
In the quarterfinals it was Josef Martinez who opened the scoring 12 minutes into the match and Messi finished off Charlotte FC in a 4-0 win. Martinez did it again in the semifinals, scoring the first goal three minutes into the match en route to a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Union.
In the final, Messi opened the scoring in the 23rd minute against Nashville SC and eventually took home a title following a 10-9 penalty shootout win. It was inter Miami’s first and only title and now they have chance to earn another won in the 2023 U.S. Open Cup Final.