FC Cincinnati vs Inter Miami summary: Cremaschi, score, goals, highlights | US Open Cup
FC Cincinnati vs Inter Miami: Live blog
Inter Miami are through to the final of the US Open Cup after a dramatic penalty shoot out win over FC Cincinnati.
MLS leaders Cincy got off to a flying start and took the lead on 18 minutes through Luciano Acosta. The hosts doubled their lead when Brandon Vazquez struck just after half time and appeared to be cruising to the final.
But up stepped Lionel Messi to drag his team back from the brink. The 36-year-old provided two-inch perfect crosses for Leonardo Campana as the Ecuadorian scored a crucial brace, the second coming in the 97th minute.
Substitute Josef Martinez nudged Miami ahead in extra time, but his strike was cancelled out by an equaliser from the impressive Kubo. All square after 120 minutes, the game was to be decided by penalty shoot out.
The first eight penalties were flawless, but Cincinnati defender Matt Miazga saw his kick saved. Up stepped Miami's 18-year-old midfielder Benjamin Cremaschi to convert his penalty and send his side through to the final.
Another week, another final for Inter Miami!
Fresh from their Leagues Cup triumph last weekend, Inter Miami secured passage to the final of US Open Cup with a thrilling penalty shootout victory. FC Cincinnati were the better team on the night but a late flurry from Miami was enough to see them through to penalties.
Youngster Benjamin Cremaschi struck the winning spot kick and the Herons will soon celebrate another showpiece event.
Want to know more about Inter Miami's penalty shoot out hero, Benjamin Cremaschi? We spoke exclusively to the young Miami native recently.
He talks about life in the first team, deciding which national team to represent, and playing alongside Lionel Messi...
Thrilling game ends in triumph for Inter Miami
Inter Miami are heading to another cup final, just days after lifting the Leagues Cup. This time it was 18-year-old Benjamin Cremaschi who was the hero, hitting the winning penalty to send his team through.
Speaking after scoring the crucial winning penalty, Benjamin Cremaschi tells reporters: "Messi just congratulated me, he's a winner."
"Sometimes I sit down and think about the position that I'm in, it's incredible. I just know that I have to keep on working."
You have to feel for FC Cincinnati forward Luciano Acosta. He was the best player on the pitch in normal time but was withdrawn shortly before the end of the 90. He not only missed the 30 minutes of extra time but also the penalty shoot out.
He had to watch on as his team were eliminated.
INTER MIAMI ARE THROUGH TO THE OPEN CUP FINAL
After an exhilarating evening of action, Lionel Messi and co. are through to the final at the expense of MLS leaders FC Cincinnati.
What a game!
It's going to be Cremaschi to take it....
Three penalties apiece, no mistakes so far.
We're nearly ready for penalties at the TQL Stadium.
Cincinnati to take first...
At this stage, you sense that the game is slightly in Inter Miami's favour.
Both sides have won on penalties in very recent memory and were flawless in their Leagues Cup shoot out.
However Miami still have Messi and Busquets on the pitch. Cincinnati talisman Acosta has already been substituted.
We're going to penalties!
The semi-final of the US Open Cup will go to a penalty shoot-out!
Absolute exhaustion on the face of Lionel Messi as he is dispossessed on the edge of the Cincinnati box.
He needs to save that energy now.
We are deep into extra time now, just a couple of minutes remaining.
Any goal now, you feel, will be a winner.
The free kick is firmly struck and on target, but Kanna gets across to save comfortably.
The Cincinnati support lets out a massive sigh of relief.
Free kick to Miami. Roughly 25 yards out.
Cincy strike back through Kubo! The Japanese forward curls past Callender from just inside the penalty box. A brilliant strike to get Cincy level!
Eight minutes of extra time remaining.
After a push in the first half of extra time, Cincinnati have struggled to build any momentum since the break.
Powell drives forward and falls to the ground under a Miami challenge. The referee waves away his protestations. No foul.
Cincinnati put take a breath, playing the ball around at the back as they search for a route forward.
Inter Miami appear to be in better physical condition that would be expected. The introduction of Cremaschi, Farias and Ruiz has added some much-needed energy to their performance.
Brilliant work from Messi to hold the ball up in the corner, eventually winning his side a throw-in. All eyes on the clock for Miami now.
Brilliant play from Inter Miami forward Farias to win a free kick in the Cincy half. It's the exact position that Messi providing the first assist from...
But this time it goes short, Miami looking to kill some time.
And we're back!
There's another 15 minutes of action in this thrilling Open Cup semi-final. Can Cincinnati find an equaliser in front of the home crowd?
It'll be a very quick break here, just enough time for some brief instructions.
What can Cincy coach Pat Noonan say to his team here? They have been the better team on the night and could have found an equaliser in extra time, but find themselves 15 minutes from elimination.
And that's half time in extra time. An engrossing 15 minutes of action there!
Huge calls for a Cincinnati penalty as the ball is blocked by Jordi Alba, On second viewing, it does hit his hand but the limb is tucked right close to his body.
No foul, and no penalty.
Corner ball for Cincy, in towards Murphy. He connect well but his head is OFF THE CROSSBAR!
Miami survive, but for how long?
Brilliant play by Cincinnati, who nearly find Santos in space in the box. The ball just evade the big striker and Miami survive again.
A spell of sustained pressure for Cincinnati on the edge of the Miami box.
It's worked wide to the onrushing Hagglund who streams up the right flank. He plays a first-time cross, but it's easily claimed by Callender in the Miami goal.
Can Messi continue here?
Inter Miami have another substitution to use now that we're in extra time, but do Martino dare use it? If this ends up going to penalties, they would sorely love the Argentine to be on the field.
There's a real nervous energy in the stadium now. Everything though Cincinnati were through to the final but they were denied by a last-gasp Campana goal.
Cincy are back on the attack now, Kubo shows neat footwork but is dispossessed. Five minutes to go until the break now.
Nearly an opening for Cincinnati as Santos feeds the ball out wide.
Robert Taylor get back in time to block the cross and the ball lands safely in the hand of Callender.
Inter Miami are looking to cool the temperature now after a frenetic few minutes.
They play the ball around the back, with goalscorer Martinez dropping deep to help the midfield. Messi as just wandering around now, clearly exhausted after the exertions of the last month.
GOOOOOAAAAAL! Josef Martinez
WOW! Inter Miami take the lead for the first time on the night.
The Miami forward makes a brilliant run and slides the ball past Kann in the Cincy goal.
It's worth remembering that Cincinnati made a number of late changes to help them see the game out.
Cincy's star man, captain and goal scorer Luciano 'Lucho' Acosta has been replaced and will not play any part of the next 30 minutes.
Extra time underway!
And we're back in Cincinnati. What does extra time have in store after a breathless 90 minutes?
Campana levels things for Inter Miami
And we're heading into extra time. Cincinnati have looked by far the better team on the night, but that's not how soccer works!
Two brilliant, incisive passes from Lionel Messi turned the game on its head and have propelled us into extra time.
We're going to extra time!
Incredible scenes as a moment of Lionel Messi magic rescues Inter Miami. Two magnificent assists for Campana, we're all square in the Open Cup semi-final.
Lionel Messi does it again, a brilliantly flighted pass to Campana is nodded coolly into the back of the net. Miami are level!
The kick is overhit but worked back in by Alba.
Cincinnati get the ball back and are on the attack with Santos. He looks for Obinna but his pass runs through to the Miami goalkeeper.
Corner ball to Inter Miami, deep into injury time.
Lionel Messi to deliver.
Cincinnati have a glorious chance to counter attack but Murphy wastes the opportunity.
It really is end-to-end stuff now. You sense that there will be a goal, but for who?
So close! Cincinnati
Brilliant work from Santos to pinch the ball off the Miami backline and send in a wicked cross from the left. The ball is pushed wide by Callender and Cincinnati win the corner.
That'll use up some more second.
Busquets loops the ball into the Cincy box but it's easily cleared. It's recycled to Jordi Alba but he overhits his pass to Messi and the ball goes out for a Cincinnati goal kick.
Boos around the stadium as the fourth official announces eight minutes of added time in the Open Cup semi-final.
The capacity crown in the TQL Stadium is in great voice now, willing their team to the finish line. This has been a fine performance from Cincinnati to restrict such a talented side to so few chances.
Let's see if they can close it out.
Three subs for Cincinnati as Angulo, Powell and Gaddis are coming on.
Murphy, Acosta and Moreno are off.
Kubo fouls Ruiz, giving Inter Miami a free kick and a chance for Messi to deliver into the box.
The ball is with Messi on the right wing. He cuts inside and can only manage to lift a rather limp cross towards the back post, but it's easily cleared.
The Argentine is looking very tired now. Can he produce something magical in the closing minutes?
Booking for Luciano Acosta as he pulls down Campana to prevent a Miami break.
Chance! Inter Miami
Jordi Alba clips the ball in towards Campana, who does well to control the ball on his chest. He swivels on it and strikes a firm volley, but his effort flies over the bar.
So close! Cincinnati
Cincy come forward down the left and Acosta plays a tantalising ball across the Miami box. Santos stretches to connect with the pass but it just evades him.
Kryvtsov (Inter Miami)
Incredibly cynical challenge from the Ukrainian defender to stop a dangerous Cincinnati counter-attack. He won't mind taking a booking for that one.
Clever turn from Ruiz on the halfway line and the Miami youngster is pulled down by Acosta.
The players have just taken their second half hydration break, a chance for the respective managers to rally their troops for the final 15 minutes.
Let's see what Miami can muster.
Acosta is on the ball again and slips a pass through to Kubo. The Japanese forward races onto the ball but his right-footed effort is palmed wide by Callender.
What can Inter Miami muster in the final 20 minutes at TQL Stadium? They have undeniable quality but they must be tired after their Leagues Cup exploits.
Cincinnati have looked the sharper of the two sides.
The hosts have the ball in the back of the net, Kubo bundling home from a corner.
But it's rules out for offside! VAR has a quick check but is satisfied with the call.
No goal! Miami survive.
It's perfectly poised now. Inter Miami need another but Cincinnati pose a real threat on the break.
Twenty minutes of normal time to go.
Messi takes the free kick and Campana meets the ball with a powerful header.
Inter Miami get one back. 2-1, game on!
Brilliant play from Messi, who drops deep to collect the ball before floating a pass over the defensive line. Arias runs onto the long ball and is bundled over by his Cincy namesake.
Acosta's outswinging corner is met by the head of Hagglund but his effort flies well over.
Cincinnati win a corner after Arias' shot form the edge of the box is deflected wide. Acosta is across to take the kick.
Japanese international Kubo has only just entered the fray but had a chance almost immediately. His firmly-struck effort takes a slight deflection and is easily smothered by Callender.
The game's getting stretched now.
Decent opening for Vazquez, who had ran in behind the Miami defence. The take it wide and looks to lob the ball past Callender, but it goes wide of the Miami goal.
It looks like Inter Miami are shifting from a 5-3-2 to a 4-3-3 for the remaining half an hour.
Messi, Ruiz and Taylor form an attacking trident behind the central presence of Camapana.
Brilliant start for Arias as he wins the ball in the Miami box and sprints forward on the counter-attack.
That's the impetus that Miami have been missing in midfield.
And here's that Inter Miami sub...
Taylor, Ruiz and Arias are coming on. They replace Miller, Yedlin and Mota.
Change of shape for Miami, it seems.
Tata Martino isn't happy.
Triple substitution on the way for Inter Miami.
It was a lightening quick counter-attack from Cincy that gave them the chance for that second goal. Arias came sweeping forward on the right wing, playing the ball infield to Brandon Vazquez.
The USMNT striker took a touch, before rifling home a right-footed drive into the bottom corner.
A brilliant team move and a stunning strike from Vazquez.
GOOOAAAAAL! Brandon Vazquez
The USMNT forward scores a brilliant goal from the edge of the box to double Cincinnati's lead!
What a hit!
Good play from Miller to read an attempted through ball from Acosta. He gets his team back on the attack and they work it up the pitch to Messi.
He is robbed of the ball but no foul.
Moupendza is down after a bit of a shove from Kryvtsov. A bit over-dramatic, and the referee waves away his protestations.
In the opening minutes Messi looks to be playing a bit higher up the pitch, playing as more of a pair alongside Campana.
No changes for either team at the break, Kryvtsov is fit to continue for Inter Miami.
How long before Martino calls for Josef Martinez off the bench?
And we're back!
The second half is underway at TQL Stadium. Who will make it to the Open Cup final?
Luciano Acosta sends Cincinnati wild
The MLS All-Star has been in inspired form so far tonight, making the difference for his team with the opening goal. Let's see if Messi can respond.
Interestingly, this is the first time since Lionel Messi's arrival that Inter Miami have been behind. Will they have the resolve to turn it around against one of the best sides in the US? We're about to find out...
Acosta stars against his compatriot
Two Argentines, two captains, two Number 10s.
The headline battle of Luciano Acosta vs Lionel Messi was always likely to decide this game, and so far it's the Cincinnati man who has had his impact on the tie.
Inter Miami dominate the ball, but not the match
The first half statistics show that Inter Miami had 63% of the ball in the opening 45 minutes, but were comfortably outplayed by the MLS leaders. Miami have been allowed to have fairly blunt possession while Cincinnati have looked to pounce on the break.
Cincinnati roar after Acosta strike
It wasn't the prettiest first half, but Cincinnati have done what it takes to go into the break with a well-deserved lead. They sought to negate Miami's strengths and pose a threat on the counter-attack.
They have done exactly that in the opening 45 minutes.
And that's the half!
Cincinnati have a deserved lead at the break after an early goal from Luciano Acosta. What can Miami do in response?
Cincinnati are back on the attack in the final moments. Boupendza lets fly from the edge of the box but his effort is comfortably saved.
Messi and Busquets combine well in the middle to find Yedlin in space on the right. He lofts a cross in towards Gomez but his headed effort goes well over.
Ball finds Mota on the edge of the Cincy box but the midfielder rifles his effort well over the crossbar.
Neat footwork from Messi to skip away from the challenges in midfield, but his pass can't be controlled by Yedlin. The Argentine is looking to force the issue before the break.
There will be six minutes of added time at TQL Stadium.
Goal kick to Kann and the Cincinnati keeper takes his time with the kick. It's been a pretty perfect first half for Cincy, posing an offensive threat while preventing Miami getting Messi into dangerous positions.
Cincinnati's defensive shape has been remarkably solid so far, denying Miami any gaps between the lines. Messi is having to drop very deep to pick up the ball, keeping him from the danger zone.
Midfielder Gomez is the second Miami player to go into the book
The corner ball is wasted and Cincinnati are quickly back on the attack.
Obinna looks to break but Miami midfielder Gomez stops him with a cynical foul.
Jordi Alba looks to loft the ball over the Cincinnati defence. The retreating Murphy looks to clear the danger but can only put it out for a corner.
Kryvtsov is back on the field now but moving very gingerly. Miami may be hoping that he can make it to the half time break to reassess.
This could pose a real problem for Tata Martino. The Miami boss doesn't have another central defender on the bench and it doesn't look like Kryvtsov can continue here.
Does Martino look for someone else to fill in, or switch to a back four?
Kryvtsov (Inter Miami)
The Inter Miami defender goes down clutching his knee after a strong challenge.
Messi speaks intently with Gomez during the hydration break, seeming to suggest that the midfielder moves the ball on a little quickly.
The players are back on the pitch for the restart now.
We'll have a quick water break down after an engrossing opening half an hour at TQL Stadium.
There's a heat warning in Cincinnati tonight and it seems like some Inter Miami players are feeling the effects of their Leagues Cup journey.
Inter Miami win a free kick in the midfield after Obinna flies into a tackle on Gomez. Booking for the Cincinnati player.
It looks like Messi is dropping slightly deeper than normal to bolster the numbers in midfielder. Campana is playing as a lone striker, essentially.
Cincinnati have looked the more dangerous team so far, highlighted by the electric start made by Luciano Acosta. The Cincy forward has drifted across the Cincinnati midfield to influence the play.
He picks up the ball on the right wing this time, and pops the ball through the legs of Sergio Busquets. The ex-Barca man does not look happy.
Already you can tell that this is a step up from the challenges that Inter Miami faced in the Leagues Cup. It's not just the quality of the opposition, which is clear, but also the atmosphere created by the Cincinnati faithful in TQL Stadium.
Bit better from Miami now as they enjoy a spell of possession. They have not looked convincing at the back so far.
The Spaniard picks up the first booking of the game for that foul.
Acosta steals the ball from Messi in the Cincinnati box and the hosts are back on the attack. Jordi Alba hacks down Arias as Cincy streams forward and give away a free kick.
Just a word on that Acosta goal; it was really dogged play from the Cincinnati captain to force his way to goal. He pounced on a rebound on the edge of the Miami box and drove forward, poking the ball past Callender to break the deadlock.
The pitch is covered with orange smoke from the Cincinnati fans' pyro! WHat an atmosphere we have here.
Nearly a second for the hosts as Boupendza runs clear and chips Callender in the Miami goal.
The assistant's flag saves Miami as he's ruled offside.
GOOOOAAAAL! Luciano Acosta
Cincinnati have the lead courtesy of captain Luciano Costa. Brilliant play from the forward to put his side ahead.
Brilliant defending from Yedlin to track the run of Barreal to the Miami corner flag. He gets in a sliding tackle and the ball goes for a throw-in.
There's a talking to for Arias after a late foul on Alba. Arias is one of two players who come into the Cincinnati team after a chastening 3-0 loss to Colombus on Sunday.
Inter Miami seem to be making a conscious effort to play down the right, putting Yedlin up against Cincinnati's MLS All-Star Barreal on that wing.
Chance! Inter Miami
First piece of quality of the evening as Messi skips free on the right and plays the ball down the line to Yedlin. The wing back clips in the cross towards Campana, but Cincy are back in time to clear.
There's a half chance for Boupendza from the edge of the box, but the Cincinnati forward slashes his volley well over the crossbar.
Messi picks up the ball, 30 yards from the Cincinnati goal, and looks to thread a pass through to Mota. The midfielder sprints onto the pass but bundles into the Cincy defence, giving away a foul.
Inter Miami are playing with a very fluid backline, Yedlin pushing high up on the right when in possession. Alba is tucking around to join the backline and forming a back four for Miami.
Yedlin has looked good in the opening stages.
Gomez (Inter Miami)
There's a pause in play as the young Paraguayan goes down clutching his ankle. It's a pretty innocuous one, a stud on the toe off the ball.
He'll be fine to continue.
Neat play from Inter Miami to get Yedlin sprinting clear on the right. He looks to work the ball into the middle but Cincinnati clear.
Miami soon back on the ball, Busquets wins a free kick in the middle of the pitch.
Inter Miami comes forward with the ball and midfielder Gomez lets fly from the edge of the box. The effort is dragged wide, but it's a positive start
Just for a moment it looked as if Cincinnati talisman Acosta had a sight of goal, but the Inter Miami back three was on hand to smother his effort.
A proactive start from both sides, neither willing to sit back and relinquish possession. The Cincy crowd are certainly making themselves heard.
And we're off!
Fantastic atmosphere, a sunny evening, and two of the best teams in the US right now. What more could you ask for?
Just moments until kick-off now, both teams are out on the pitch.
Messi and Acosta share a quick joke before Inter Miami get us underway.
Cincinnati Bengals in attendance
It's not just soccer royalty in the house tonight, the stars of NFL team Cincinnati Bengals are here to support their city. We're expecting a capacity crowd at TQL Stadium for this evening's game and the atmosphere will be loud!
Kick-off at TQL is drawing near now. The players are lined up in the tunnel and Luciano Acosta and Lionel Messi are preparing to lead their teams out onto the field.
Just minutes to go...
Pat Noonan outlines the threat of Messi
“Even when you do things right, even when you get pressure to a top player like him, he has the ability to beat you one on one."
“In one moment, even with the right defensive structure, the right numbers around the ball, he still has the ability to change the game with the spectacular.”
“I thought Nashville played a very good game, but it just takes a moment or two and he can make the difference.”
“We just try to talk through the ways to limit his ability to get on the ball."
Amazing atmosphere at FC Cincinnati
There's little over half an hour to go until kick off and things are heating up in Cincinnati. Fans of the MLS leaders are in great voice ahead of this Open Cup clash and they will be hoping to roar their side to the final.
Young Inter Miami defender Tomas Aviles makes his debut tonight. The talented Argentine only arrived in Miami earlier this month but has gone straight into the first-team squad.
He's clearly made a good impression. Last week he pulled off this cheeky trick on World Cup winner Sergio Busquets...
Full-strength team for FC Cincinnati
FC Cincinnati head coach Pat Noonan has named a strong team to face Inter Miami. The MLS Eastern Conference leaders name three members of the 2023 MLS All-Star Team in their starting XI: Miazga, Barreal and Acosta.
Inter Miami line up for Cincinnati clash
Gerardo 'Tata' Martino has rung the changes for tonight's Open Cup clash, resting a number of players from the Leagues Cup triumph last weekend. Lionel Messi retains his place up front, but he is paired with Ecuadorian forward Leonardo Campana.
Cincy in the house
And here are the hosts, current MLS Supporters Shield leaders FC Cincinnati arrive at the TQL Stadium ahead of tonight's fixture.
The Open Cup semi-final between Cincinnati and Inter Miami kicks off in a little over an hour. We'll have the team news for you very shortly.
The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is back with just four teams battling it out for the nation’s oldest soccer competition. In the first of the semi finals FC Cincinnati host Inter Miami at TQL Stadium, bringing together two of the most exciting teams in MLS.
We'll be bringing you full coverage of all the action right here, but you can also watch or stream the game live.
Here's everything you need to know...
Good luck messages from Cincinnati's finest
Ahead of tonight's fixture, probably FC Cincinnati's biggest of the season, the Cincinnati Reds baseball team has sent a message of good luck to Pat Noonan's team.
Much of the pre-game talk will focus on Inter Miami, but FC Cincinnati should really go into this fixture as the favourites. Cincy have been the best team in MLS this year and are currently eight points clear at the top of the Eastern Conference.
They have an incredible record in this year's competition and will be confident of killing Miami and Messi's momentum.
Ex-Barcelona trio stick together
Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba played central roles for a Barcelona side ranked among the finest to ever play the game. They have incredible chemistry on the pitch and, perhaps unsurprisingly, are pretty close off it too.
The World Cup-winning trio are seen here leaving the Inter Miami team bus as a unit.
Messi and Miami arrive in Cincy
Fresh from their Leagues Cup triumph last weekend, Inter Miami and Lionel Messi arrive at TQL Stadium with another final in their sights. The Argentine has been in irresistible form since his move to the US, but tonight faces the toughest side in MLS.
He certainly seems relaxed about the prospect...
“We just try to talk through the ways to limit his ability to get on the ball," said FC Cincinnati boss Pat Noonan, when asked about how he planned to stop Lionel Messi.
The Argentine has been in scintillating form since his move to Miami, scoring ten times in seven matches to inspire his side to the first trophy in club history. He will look to fire them to another final in the Open Cup tonight, but Noonan believes that his MLS-leading side can halt the Messi magic.
TQL Stadium, the scene is set
We're less than 90 minutes from kick-off at the TQL Stadium, when MLS leaders FC Cincinnati take on Leagues Cup winners Inter Miami. Both sides will come into the game full of confidence but only one will make it through to the final of the Open Cup.
Team news from Cincinnati should be with us in around half an hour...
Are Inter Miami games 'fixed'? That was the allegation that David Beckham responded to after their Leagues Cup triumph over Nashville SC last weekend.
Understandably, Beckham gave the allegations short shrift and issued a resolute response.
Inter Miami preparations underway
The exuberant pink of Inter Miami's home kit is quickly becoming one of the most recognisable jerseys in US soccer. The likes of Messi, Busquets and Alba will once against be sporting 'The Heartbreak Kit' when they take on Cincinnati tonight.
If he wasn't already, Lionel Messi secured his position among the very finest to play the game when he won the World Cup with Argentina last December. Messi is revered in Argentina and he will take on two of his compatriots later this evening.
FC Cincinnati's Luciano Acosta and Álvaro Barreal will both have to play against the national treasure, but only one of them will get to keep his shirt...
Hello and welcome to AS USA, where we'll be bringing you live coverage of the US Open Cup clash between FC Cincinnati and Inter Miami.
Just days after Lionel Messi and DeAndre Yedlin lifted the Leagues Cup, Miami are on the brink of another final.
In their way, an FC Cincinnati side who currently lead the race for the Supporters Shield and are one of the strongest sides in MLS.