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MATCH RECAP: Inter Miami CF wins the 2023 Leagues Cup, giving the club its first trophy ever.

Inter Miami CF emerged victorious in the 2023 Leagues Cup, so securing a momentous inaugural trophy for the club.

Inter Miami CF accomplished a significant milestone for the Club on Saturday evening, creating a historic moment by emerging victorious over Nashville SC at GEODIS Park in a thrilling penalty shootout. This victory secured the 2023 Leagues Cup title and marked the First Team’s inaugural official achievement of winning a prestigious trophy. The game concluded with a score of 1-1 throughout the allotted time and saw an exceptional display by the awarded Man of the Match, Drake Callender, as the goalkeeper. Additionally, Lionel Messi delivered an impressive goal to initiate the scoring in the initial period of the game.

Two players from Inter Miami also experienced a significant evening in Tennessee. Messi achieved the remarkable feat of accumulating the highest number of trophies in the history of the sport, with a total of 44. Additionally, Messi was honoured with the accolades of Best Player and Top Scorer in the Leagues Cup. The goalkeeper, Callender, was bestowed with the prestigious Man of the Match accolade for his exceptional display in the final, along with the esteemed Leagues Cup Best Goalkeeper recognition.

Notes on the lineup

In the final match, Inter Miami fielded the same starting XI as in their previous victory against Philadelphia Union in the semifinals, without making any alterations. The starting lineup consisted of Callender in the goalkeeper position, with DeAndre Yedlin, Sergii Kryvtsov, Kamal Miller, and Jordi Alba comprising the defensive line. In midfield, Sergio Busquets, Dixon Arroyo, and Benjamin Cremaschi were deployed. Lionel Messi and Robert Taylor occupied the wing positions, while Josef Martínez assumed the role of striker.

Game Action

The first minutes of the game exhibited a balanced contest, as both teams displayed a defensive approach while actively seeking offensive chances. The game’s intensity increased around the 20th minute mark. Initially, Callender made significant contributions by executing a few noteworthy interventions in the goal area, effectively preventing Nashville from scoring. Notably, he successfully thwarted a header by Walker Zimmerman from the central region of the penalty area during the 18th minute. Subsequently, Inter Miami demonstrated a similar pattern by providing a glimpse of the forthcoming events as winger Robert Taylor executed a forceful strike from beyond the penalty area, compelling the opposing goalie to make a diving save in the 21st minute.

Following that, the skipper of Inter Miami once again demonstrated exceptional performance. At the 23rd minute of the match, a pass from Taylor was deflected and reached Messi outside the penalty area. The Argentine forwards skilfully controlled the ball, evaded a defender, and positioned himself on the left side. From there, he executed a left-footed curling shot towards the top left corner, resulting in an impressive opening goal. This goal not only marked Inter Miami’s first-ever goal in a final but also showcased a remarkable display of skill. The objective was his tenth goal, which places him at the top of the Leagues Cup leaderboard. Additionally, Messi has maintained a consistent scoring record, having scored in all seven of his previous matches for the Club.

The scoreboard of 0-1 remained constant for the duration of the remaining minutes in the first half, resulting in Miami entering halftime with the lead.

In the latter half of the match, the home team managed to equalise the score promptly. Specifically, in the 57th minute, forwards Fafà Picault successfully scored a goal amidst a chaotic situation within the penalty area, subsequent to a corner kick opportunity for Nashville.

The concluding minutes of the final contest showcased an exhilarating and dynamic exchange, as both teams fervently sought to secure the decisive victory. Inter Miami made multiple attempts to regain the team’s advantage, including two instances where the ball struck the goalpost. The first occurred in the 71st minute when Lionel Messi took a grounded effort from beyond the penalty area. The second opportunity was in the closing moments of extra time, when Leonardo Campana, a substitute in the second half, had a chance inside the penalty area.

In a defensive manner, Callender effectively thwarted Nashville’s attempts by making numerous critical interventions, notably two pivotal stops during additional time, resulting in an intense penalty shootout.

In the penalty shootout that determined the outcome of the 2023 Leagues Cup title, Inter Miami’s team emerged victorious with a score of 9-10. Ten out of their eleven players successfully converted their penalty kicks, contributing to their triumph. Notably, Callender, who had already displayed exceptional skill during the match, concluded his remarkable performance by both scoring the final penalty kick for Inter Miami and successfully saving Nashville’s last penalty attempt.

In the momentous culmination, Inter Miami emerged victorious, clinching their inaugural official championship and furthering their record-breaking win streak to seven, so securing a straight qualification to the Round of 16 in the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup. Inter Miami achieved their inaugural trophy after triumphing in all seven successive matches on their path to capturing the 2023 Leagues Cup championship. They emerged victorious against formidable opponents such as Cruz Azul, Atlanta United, Orlando City SC, FC Dallas, Charlotte FC, Philadelphia Union, and ultimately Nashville.

Post-Match Response

Today, we have achieved the status of champions, and it is undeniable that the sensation accompanying this accomplishment is highly gratifying. Furthermore, it facilitates our ongoing expansion and sustains our drive for achievement. According to head coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino, there is a heightened understanding of the potential future outcomes following our triumph in this championship over a relatively short period of 30-35 days since joining the Club.

Future Game

On Wednesday, August 23, at 7 p.m. ET at TQL Stadium, Inter Miami will now make its return to the field as it departs for Ohio to play FC Cincinnati in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinal.

Statistics

Possession:

NSH – 41.5%

MIA – 58.5%

Shots:

NSH – 11

MIA – 6

Saves:

NSH – 1

MIA – 5

Corners:

NSH – 6

MIA – 2

Fouls:

NSH – 8

MIA – 9

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