In a final befitting what has been an exciting and thrilling 2023 Leagues Cup campaign, Inter Miami helped by star player, Lionel Messi, beat Nashville SC on penalties and captured their first-ever trophy as a club in the US.
The match began with Nashville on the forefoot, putting consistent pressure on Inter Miami, who couldn’t control possession to their liking as a result. But in the 23rd minute, Messi once again created magic. Messi latched on to a loose ball, evaded Walker Zimmerman and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the goal.
When the second half began, Nashville started applying more pressure. Their persistence paid off with a schoolyard goal off the head of Fafa Picault that pinged off Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender on its way to the back of the net.
Leonardo Campana was gifted a golden chance to put the game away in the final seconds, but his last-ditch stretch to bury the shot, hit the post. Both teams had to settle for a penalty shootout.
The penalty shootout featured all 11 players on each side getting an opportunity to make their penalty kicks and ended with both goalkeepers going last. Callender stepped up first and rocketed his effort into the top of the frame. However, Nashville’s Elliot Panicco saw his effort saved by Callender, coronating Miami as Leagues Cup royalty.
After wining the trophy, David Beckham, a part-owner of Inter Miami couldn’t hide his happiness and rushed to hug Messi.
The victory marked Inter’s first trophy.
Lionel Messi now becomes the most decorated player in football history with 44 titles since 2004 to 2023.
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