Inter Miami continued its impressive run in the Leagues Cup by beating Philadelphia Union 4-1 on Tuesday. Lionel Messi was once again the star of the show, as he scored in his sixth consecutive game with his new club. The Argentine now has an incredible nine goals in those six matches. Miami’s victory takes the team to the Leagues Cup final against fellow Major League Soccer opposition.
Visitors set the tone early with a goal inside three minutes
Striker Josef Martinez put the visitors ahead early in the game with a goal in the third minute. With the Union defense backing off, defender Sergii Kryvtsov played a long ball over the top toward Martinez. The striker collected the ball and sent a low strike into the bottom corner of the net.
Miami would then double its lead in the 20th minute with a goal from Messi. The superstar picked up possession near midfield, raced toward the box, and hit a shot from distance to beat a diving Andre Blake in goal. Blake will be disappointed to be beaten from such range, but the ball was perfectly placed into the far corner.
The visitors grabbed a third goal just before the halftime break. Robert Taylor played a beautiful through ball toward Jordi Alba. With just the keeper to beat, Alba fired a shot beyond Blake to extend Miami’s lead. The hosts would eventually score in the 73rd minute to make the match interesting. However, Miami added a fourth with just six minutes remaining on the clock to put the game to bed.
Nashville holds off Monterrey to set up Miami clash in Leagues Cup Final
Miami will face Nashville in the Leagues Cup final after the MLS side took care of Monterrey in the other semifinal matchup. The Liga MX side had significantly more possession and total shots on the night, but couldn’t break down the stingy Nashville defense.
Weathering the storm, the hosts finally went ahead in the 67th minute of the match. Hany Mukhtar picked up a loose ball on a counterattack and played Sam Surridge inside the box. The striker coolly beat the Monterrey goalkeeper with a neat low shot into the bottom of the net.
Nashville would put the finishing touches on the game with a goal late in added time. The goal was fairly similar to the opening strike, as Nashville won the ball back thanks to a solid header in defense. Surridge then headed a pass toward Fafa Picault deep in Monterrey territory. The winger beat his marker and sent a shot over the keeper to double his team’s lead.
The Leagues Cup final matchup will feature two teams in drastic places in the MLS Eastern Conference table. Miami is currently bottom of the division, while Nashville sits fourth. Nevertheless, Miami’s recent additions have completely transformed the squad. The final is set for Saturday, Aug. 19 at Geodis Park in Nashville.
PHOTO: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire
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