The Houston Dynamo lifted its second US Open Cup by beating Inter Miami 1-2 this Wednesday in a very practical match in which they took many advantages from the counterattack and took advantage of the absence of the injured Leo Messi, who was not even on the list of available for the grand final.
The Argentine’s presence in this match was always a mystery. The club never published a squad list and in the previous press conference Gerardo Martino never ruled him out. They won the narrative, but without Messi nor Jordi Alba (also injured) Inter Miami lost too much to be able to beat a very well-established Houston Dynamo. The Venezuelan Josef Martínez added excitement with a goal already in added time, in addition to multiple chances to equalize the clash, but they could only make up for the result and the title was won by the visitors.
Miami proposed and Houston scored the goals
Inter Miami was willing in the early stages of the match, playing at home and wanting to take control on the pitch. They added arrivals to Andrew Tarbell’s area but without great danger. The local team quickly understood that the game would have to be generated by the wings and, at the same time, be cautious in the withdrawal taking into account the dangerous counters of the Texan team.
The association with the counterattack of the Mexican Héctor Herrera and Nelson Quiñones wreaked havoc on those from Miami. Drake Callender had to score the first shot from the Colombian in the 14th minute. Callender was not going to give in easily and in the 21st minute he marked territory with a double save, the first from a shot by Quiñones clearing the ball. and leaving it at will for Corey Baird, who tried to beat him low but found his legs. It was a new notice that served as a preamble to the first goal of the night, signed by Griffin Dorsey in the 24th minute. A terrible mistake by the Argentine Facundo Farías in the center of the field enabled another counterattack launched by the Moroccan Amine Bassi and led by Baird, who ended up on the right side of the attack for the surprise arrival of the Houston right-back, who He sealed the goal with a huge shot.
Possession until then was for Inter Miami but the clearest chances were for the Texan team. And so the dynamics of the match continued, the visiting team receiving a penalty committed by DeAndre Yedlin on Quiñones when the Colombian beat him in speed and had already surpassed him. Bassi was in charge of converting it with cold blood, low and centered, deceiving a Callender who threw himself to his right. It was the 33rd minute and the advantage in the light was already notable. There could have been more, with the Panamanian Adalberto Carrasquilla and Herrera testing Callender. The break came to relieve an Inter Miami team that was very badly positioned on the pitch and was crying out to end the game.
With the substitutions the match changed
Martino moved the bench to start the second half, bringing on the Venezuelan Josef Martínez and the Ecuadorian Dixon Arroyo in place of Robert Taylor and the Paraguayan Diego Gómez, who had gone completely unnoticed in the first half. There was a reaction from the locals, who played much more in offensive territory. Sergio Busquets got into the central zone and allowed the full-backs, with Yedlin in front, to join the attack.
Ten minutes after the restart, the festival of opportunities arrived that confirmed Inter Miami’s improvement, but without success. In the 55th minute Martínez headed a pass from Farías, three minutes later the Venezuelan wasted a great pass from Ecuadorian Leonardo Campana, and in the 59th minute the Argentine-American Benjamin Cremaschi tried a long shot from the edge of the area.
Houston saved Miami’s goal on several occasions, but remained calm, betting on the same thing as in the first half: the counterattack. And it worked again, with Carrasquilla as the kicker in the 72nd minute. The ball passed from the Panamanian to Bassi and he gave it to Quiñones so that he could shoot Callender with a cross shot. The celebration of the third was a victim of modern football and the VAR suspended the goal for offside millimeter of the Colombian. The sentence had to wait and Miami still had some life left.
Caressing the miracle
Inter intensified the harassment of the visiting goal. Farías materialized his great work of the night with a deep pass in the 92nd minute so that Josef Martínez finally beat Andrew Tarbell. He roared through the DRV PNK Stadium to carry his team in search of the tying goal, and Campana had a header, but he lacked power. Farías and even Callender were also able to score, who went up to finish off the last corner.
The final whistle dried up the hope of Inter Miami, which gave them excitement without success until the last breath.
Many personalities from the world of football did not want to miss the grand final, such as the president of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, as well as the former Real Madrid player, Zinedine Zidane, who watched the match with David Beckham in his box. NBA star James Harden, who is one of the owners of the Houston Dynamo, was also at DRV PNK Stadium.
1. InterMiami: Callender; Yedlin (Ruiz, m.75), Kryvtsov, Miller, Allen; Cremaschi (Stefanelli, m.84), Busquets, Gómez (Arroyo, m.46); Farías, Campana and Taylor (Martínez, m.46).
2. Houston Dynamo: Tarbell; Dorsey, Sviatchenko, Micael, Escobar; Artur, Herrera; Carrasquilla (Hadebe, m.91), Bassi (Caicedo, m.83), Quiñones (Smith, m.79); Baird (Ibrahim, m.83).
Goals: 0-1, m.24: Griffin Dorsey. 0-2, m.33: Amine Bassi. 1-2, m.92: Martínez.
Referee: Jon Freeman (United States). He admonished Kryvtsov, Allen, Yedlin and Escobar.
Incidents: US Open Cup final played at the DRV PNKStadium in front of around 17,000 spectators.