The final of the US Open Cup was reached by Inter Miami after a dramatic penalty shootout victory over FC Cincinnati.
A flying start was made by MLS leaders Cincy, taking the lead on 18 minutes through Luciano Acosta. The lead was doubled by the hosts when Brandon Vazquez struck just after half time, and they appeared to be cruising to the final.
However, Lionel Messi stepped up to rally his team back from the brink. The crucial brace was scored by the Ecuadorian Leonardo Campana with two-inch perfect crosses provided by the 36-year-old, the second of which came in the 97th minute.
Miami was nudged ahead in extra time by substitute Josef Martinez, but his goal was cancelled out by an equalizer from the impressive Kubo. With the game all square after 120 minutes, the winner would be determined by a penalty shootout.
The first eight penalties were executed flawlessly, but Cincinnati defender Matt Miazga saw his kick saved. Miami’s 18-year-old midfielder Benjamin Cremaschi stepped up to convert his penalty, sending his side through to the final.