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- Lionel Messi absent from squad and watches from stands as Inter Miami crash to 2-1 defeat
- Houston Dynamo wins second US Open Cup to delight of visiting fans including James Harden
- Griffin Dorsey and Amine Bassi on target in the 108th US Open Cup Final
Inter Miami Player Ratings: Miami magic missing without Messi
Drake Callender 6/10 – Almost gifted visitors a goal when balled slipped, otherwise strong
DeAndre Yedlin 6/10 – Kept honest by Quiñónes in first half, committed infraction for penalty
Sergey Kryvstov 6/10 – Imprudent foul for yellow card, storng in air
Kamal Miller 6.5/10 – Best of the backline, winning aerial duels and providing long passes
Noah Allen 6/10 – didnt’ influence game in possession until second half, too late to impact
Benjamin Cremaschi 7/10 – tireless box-to-box performance from teenager
Diego Gómez 5.5/10 – faded fast in first half having been rushed back early from injury
Sergio Busquets 6.5/10 – excellent distribution as always, but caught out by tempo
Facundo Farias 7/10 – made some key passes and did well to discover space, got assist at end
Leo Campana 6/10 – Ecuadorean wasted two passes within 15 mins, indicative of his night
Robert Taylor 5/10 – wasn’t able to find space, didn’t track his man for opener
Dixon Arroyo 6.5/10 – helped bring more composure to what had been a ragged midfield
Josef Martínez 7/10 – had a wonderful headed chance early, eventually got his goal at the end
David Ruiz N/A
Nicolás Stefanelli N/A
Houston Dynamo Player Ratings: Herrera holds it down for Houston
Andrew Tarbell 6.5/10 – Little to do until final stages
Griffin Dorsey 7.5/10 – Fantastic strike worthy of any final, kept opponents quiet
Erik Sviatchenko 6/10 – tough battle with Campana, who he kept in check
Micael 7.5/10 – a mature performance from young Brazilian, unfazed by occasion
Franco Escobar 7/10 – early booking for a mistimed collision, but didn’t affect the Argentine defensively
Héctor Herrera 8/10 – Great all-round display from HH who was best player on the pitch
Artur 7.5/10 – performed well in supporting role, assist for second goal
Nelson Quiñónes 7.5 – constantly generating danger on left, unlukcy not to get goal
Amine Bassi 7.5/10 – eased into game after his injury, but picked up space and made Miami suffer
Adalberto Carrasquilla 7/10 – showed different intensity to his opponents, just missed final pass at times
Corey Baird 6.5/10 – strong showing, although missed early header 17 mins and couldn’t capitalize on Callender’s error
Brad Smith N/A
Luis Caicedo N/A
Ibrahim Aliyu N/A
Teenage Hadebe N/A
Inter Miami vs Houston Dynamo Match Summary and Highlights
A tropical downpour prior to the game, typical at the tail end of hurricane season, gave the DRV PNK Stadium a slick surface that seemed to suit Houston’s intense style. The visitors had generated four chances within 10 minutes, but couldn’t register a shot on target.
The game burst into life on 24 minutes, a wonderful strike from right back Griffin Dorsey to open the scoring. Shortly after there was more despair for the hosts, who suffered Lionel Messi’s absence, as captain DeAndre Yedlin conceded a penalty. Amine Bassi was on target as the Moroccan made no mistake from the spot, after Quiñónes had won the foul.
HARDEN LOVES IT pic.twitter.com/fPa9taHTcg
— U.S. Open Cup (@opencup) September 28, 2023
Tata Martino switched things up after the break, Dixon Arroyo to shore up midfield and Josef Martínez to add zip to the attack. As Houston dropped back, the Herons upped the intensity and began to create more with Campana and Martinez connecting well. Cremaschi finally had the first shot on target on 60 minutes as the pink wave surged forward.
In stark contrast to the first half the full backs Yedlin and Allen were camped out in the Houston half, but Ben Olsen’s outfit was resolute, soaking up all the pressure looking to do damage on the counter attack. That plan almost came to fruition when Quiñónes rounded off a swift break, only for the goal to be disallowed by VAR.
Josef Martínez had the crowd on their feet in the final stages, latching onto Facundo Farias’ perfect pass to halve the deficit on 92 minutes. Miami has become accustomed to miracles since Messi arrived, and Campana had the chance to pull one off in 94 minutes, but his header was saved.
Man of the Match: Héctor Herrera
The Mexican midfielder was fantastic all game, both in build up play and off the ball as he won his battle with Busquets. From the offset he set the tone and had everybody playing to his tune, playing it slow when needed and speeding things up to rush his rivals.
He finished the game with 99 touches, three key passes and an incredible 8 successful dribbles from as many attempts. Herrera’s all-action display was epitomized by his robust run in 95 minutes, shrugging off his rival and then pinging a cross-field pass to Brad Smith to relieve the pressure.
A top player, deserving of his first title with El Naranja.
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