Florida’s Fort Lauderdale The first title won by Inter Miami a month ago fulfilled every dream the MLS team had. Co-owners David Beckham, Jorge, and Jose Mas were showered with hugs as Lionel Messi led the way and was lifted by his teammates.
The second title that Inter Miami attempted to win on Wednesday night was very different from the first.
A score in the 91st minute of stoppage time ignited a crowd wanting to see Messi shine. Without Messi and fellow former Barcelona star Jordi Alba, who were both watching from the Inter Miami bench with their spouses beside them due to unexplained injuries, they barely stood a chance.
Houston Dynamo defeated Inter Miami 2-1 in the U.S. Open Cup final on Wednesday night at DRV PNK Stadium, thanks to goals from Gryphon Dorsey in the 24th minute and a penalty kick from Amine Bassi in the 32nd.
“Their finest player was absent. Ben Olsen, the coach of the Houston Dynamo, said, “But I’m not crying for them,” following his second Open victory with his second squad.
“We still defeated a really good team.”
Six more minutes were added to the game, with Josef Martinez scoring for Inter Miami in the first minute of stoppage time. However, Leo Campana and Facundo Farias missed two more chances to score.
The best part of the last three minutes was watching. However, the harm had already occurred. Messi saw his team lose as the game moved into overtime and waved to supporters in the stands. And when the Houston Dynamo players and coaches celebrated their Open victory on the pitch, Inter Miami’s players left.
This season, Messi will play again, according to Inter Miami’s coach.
Following Wednesday’s defeat, Inter Miami head coach Tata Martino declared that Messi will “absolutely play before the season is over.”
If you’re trying to purchase a ticket to see Messi play in the remaining five Inter Miami games of the current season, take it with a grain of salt.
Martino had stated the day before that Messi’s opportunity to participate in the Open Cup final existed solely because it was a final. Would it just be another game? Messi wouldn’t participate.
At DRV PNK Stadium on Saturday, Inter Miami takes on New York City FC.
Martino stated of Messi, “We will go match by match and see when the medical department will give us the OK for him to play without much risk.”
How was the US Open Cup final without Messi?
Martino went ahead and predicted that Alba would not play in the game. However, the mystery about Messi’s availability persisted until one hour prior to kickoff, when he failed to show up on the team bus with his colleagues and did not appear in the starting lineup.
For weeks, Martino expressed Inter Miami’s concentration on the Open final, hoping that adequate rest for Messi and Alba would make them available to lift another trophy in the meagre two months of Messi’s tenure.
On their home ground, Inter Miami witnessed the Houston Dynamo celebrate winning the Open championship instead.
What is the situation with Messi?
That mystery surrounding Messi before each Inter Miami encounter will persist as there are five MLS games left this season.
Messi has a long-standing, bothersome injury that is not yet public knowledge but won’t require surgery.
Messi missed three games for Inter Miami and an Argentina 2026 World Cup qualification match, making it his fourth missed match of September.
And without Messi, how did Inter Miami fare?
In the first half, Inter Miami was lacklustre without Messi, allowing Houston Dynamo to take a 2-0 lead in just nine minutes.
“I felt like they were a really worn-out team,” stated Martino. “We will begin to bear the consequences of the numerous games we have played.”
In the closing minutes, Inter Miami found the spark that has enthralled football fans worldwide for much of the last two months, despite cranking up the tempo and their attempts in the second half. Messi gave them that spark. There was no longer enough time to win their second title by that point.
Inter Miami has already played 16 games overall since Messi’s debut on July 21st, or 68 days ago.
And not only Messi but all of Inter Miami’s players—including the coach—have finally succumbed to exhaustion.
Martino stated, “We play every match, and there’s a final in the middle.” Once more, it appears to me that this may have occurred. It made sense that it would occur.
Highlights of Inter Miami vs. Houston Dynamo
U.S. Open Cup Final: Houston Dynamo 2, Inter Miami 1; Houston defeated Miami.
The whole contest lacked the excitement of the last three minutes.
Inter Miami had a number of opportunities but eventually failed.
Josef Martinez’s goal in stoppage time had made it 2-1, but in the closing three minutes of play, Facundo Farias missed a header wide left and Leo Campana missed a header.
Inter Miami’s pursuit of a second title ultimately proved unsuccessful.
And after witnessing his team lose the U.S. Open Cup final without him and Jordi Alba, Leo Messi waved to supporters in the stands.
Inter Miami 1, Houston Dynamo 2, Josef Martinez goal
Presumably, it’s too little, too late. There is still time, though.
In the 91st minute of play, Josef Martinez scored, cutting the Houston Dynamo’s lead to 2-1 in extra time.
The Inter Miami supporters inside DRV PNK Stadium went into a late frenzy, as it was the strike and score Inter Miami needed during the entire game.
There are five minutes left in the six minutes of stoppage time.
VAR results in no goal: Inter Miami 0 vs. Houston Dynamo 2.
In the 73rd minute, Nelson Quiñónes calmly waited on the left side and skillfully passed the ball from Amine Bassi past Inter Miami goaltender Drake Callendar.
But hold on, a VAR check revealed Quiñónes was offside.
With around fifteen minutes left in this 2-0 match, Inter Miami still has a chance to win. With fifteen minutes left in the U.S. Open Cup final, it might have been a 3-0 lead and a piece of cake.
Is Inter Miami able to capitalise?
After trailing 2-0 at the beginning of the second half, Inter Miami rallied.
In the second half, Inter Miami has increased both the tempo and the level of effort.
Whean he came into the game, Josef Maartinez had three attempts on goal.
Additionally, Benjamin Cremaschi had a second right boot thrown at the net.
Leo Campana also attempted a header.
However, in the first twenty-five minutes of the second half, Inter Miami’s attempts were unsuccessful.
Houston Dynamo 2, Inter Miami 0 at the half.
In the U.S. Open Cup final, Inter Miami is behind 2-0 at halftime without Leo Messi, and the score is even more lopsided than it appears.
In the first half of this encounter, Houston Dynamo has taken up to eighteen shots, while Inter Miami has only taken one.
Benjamin Cremaschi’s attempt for Inter Miami actually went over the crossbar in the 42nd minute, which was a long time after Houston had taken a 2-0 lead with two goals in a 9-minute period.
Amine Bassi’s penalty kick gave them the lead in the 32nd minute after Gryphon Dorsey’s goal in the 24th.
Inter Miami does not have Messi or Jordi Alba on its squad since they are both out with undisclosed ailments. From the bench, they are both observing.
Goal by Amine Bassi: Houston Dynamo 2, Inter Miami 0 The Houston Dynamo scored two goals in a 10-minute period.
After tumbling into Nelson Quiñónes to create space for a penalty kick, Inter Miami captain DeAndre Yedlin was shown a yellow card.
And in the 32nd minute, Amine Bassi sent a kick down the middle that went past Inter Miami goaltender Drake Callendar.
James Harden, a former player for the Houston Rockets, is a minority owner of the Houston Dynamo. He applauded in the stands following the score and 2-0 lead.
Inter Miami 0, Houston Dynamo 1. Goal by Gryphon Dorsey
In this game, the Houston Dynamo have opened the scoring.
In the 24th minute of the U.S. Open Cup final, Gryphon Dorsey scored with a goal from his right boot to give his team an early 1-0 lead over Inter Miami.
Drake Callendar of Inter Miami was beaten by Dorsey’s shot, which found its way into the net.
Early in the game, Houston had multiple opportunities to score, but Dorsey’s goal went through.
Inter Miami will now have to play from behind.
Messi shows up for Inter Miami’s game but isn’t going to play.
Yes, he isn’t participating. However, Leo Messi is still there for tonight’s game against Inter Miami.
Messi’s presence was announced just before kickoff, which was scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET.
In the U.S. Open Cup final, Messi is not listed for Inter Miami, so he will not start, be a substitute, or participate.
However, this is a video of his arrival:
Checking out the Inter Miami/Houston Dynamo final with Zinedine Zidane
Even if one all-time great won’t be playing, there will be another one in attendance.
The French footballer and former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is present for the U.S. Open Cup final between Houston Dynamo and Inter Miami.
About an hour before kickoff, Zidane greeted Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham on the pitch.
Nine players have won the Ballon d’Or title, the Champions League, and the World Cup, including Zidane.
Not on the Inter Miami team bus prior to the US Open Cup final, Messi
Lionel Messi’s chances of participating in the game on Wednesday appear slim.
Messi was not there on the Inter Miami squad van when it dropped off the 18 players an hour before kickoff at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Jordi Alba, who refuses to play, wasn’t on the bus either. However, it was previously decided that Alba, who is recovering from an undisclosed ailment, would probably not play.
Messi might come off the bench to start the game, if he shows up at all.
However, based on current circumstances, Messi may not even start for Inter Miami in the U.S. Open Cup final.
When is today’s Inter Miami game? How to follow a Messi game
On September 27, the CBS Sports Golazo Network will stream the U.S. Open Cup final.
Messi is playing for Inter Miami.
The coach of Inter Miami, Tata Martino, stated on Tuesday that Messi is a game-time decision for the match on Wednesday night.
What role might Messi have in the U.S. Open Cup final?
Could Messi arrive early for the Open final? Is Messi going to be a late substitute and come off the bench? Is he even a player?
Messi’s availability is only in doubt since Inter Miami is vying for another championship.
Messi probably wouldn’t play if it were just another game, Martino stated on Tuesday.
Martino remarked, “We’re talking about Leo. We have to lower that risk because we have risk all the time.”
In the absence of a final, we wouldn’t take a chance. However, there’s a chance we take that opportunity because it’s the final.
Messi saw some setbacks in September due to an injury. He is also struggling with scar tissue from an earlier injury.
Martino insisted that Messi wouldn’t require surgery.
“He is not in need of surgery or any similar treatment. The player’s recovery time just determines how long they can play the following game, according to Martino.
Since when has Messi missed games?
Messi’s performance in the Toronto encounter was followed by his absence from Sunday’s 1-1 tie between Inter Miami and Orlando City.
Messi returned from the Argentina national team on September 16 and did not travel with Inter Miami for its 5-2 loss at Atlanta United.
In order to relax, Messi also skipped Argentina’s 3-0 victory against Bolivia in the second of their two matches on September 12.
Intwer Miami’s quest for a second championship
Inter Miami might add a second championship to its roster after emerging victorious in the League Cup final last month.
In the League Cup final on August 19, Messi played a pivotal role in Inter Miami’s historic first championship victory, as the team defeated Nashville SC 1-1 (10-9 in penalty kicks).
Messi’s goal in the 23rd minute gave Inter Miami the advantage over Nashville in the penalty shootout, and they went on to win their first championship since 2020.
Just seven games into their joint venture, David Beckham’s vision for Messi in Miami came true as he embraced fellow Inter Miami co-owners Jorge and Jose Mas in the stands.
How far along is Inter Miami in the race for the MLS playoffs?
Inter Miami will focus on the MLS playoff chase following the Open final.
Inter Miami leads the Eastern Conference standings with 32 points after five MLS games.
Though Inter Miami is only five points behind New York City FC, who occupy the ninth and last playoff berth with 37 points, Inter Miami is ranked 14th out of 15 teams.
What is Inter Miami’s remaining 2023 schedule?
- Sept. 27: vs. Houston Dynamo FC (U.S. Open Cup final), 8:30 p.m. ET
- Sept. 30: vs. New York City FC, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Oct. 4: at Chicago Fire FC, 8:30 p.m. ET
- Oct. 7: vs. FC Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Oct. 18: vs. Charlotte FC, 8 p.m. ET
- Oct. 21: at Charlotte FC, 6 p.m. ET
On September 27, the CBS Sports Golazo Network will stream the U.S. Open Cup final.
However, the MLS Season Pass on Apple TV allows you to watch all of the remaining MLS games as well as those played by Inter Miami.
Remember that FOX may broadcast some of Inter Miami’s postseason games if Messi leads the team to the MLS playoffs.