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Lionel Messi provides ridiculous 97th minute game-tying assist – Inter Miami advance on penalties

For the first time since his arrival to Miami Lionel Messi failed to score in a game when the Herons defeated FC Cincinnati 5-4 on penalties (3-3 after extra time) in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals at TQL Stadium on Wednesday.

Messi made up for it with two assists including a perfect ball to Leonardo Campana in the 97th minute to send the game to extra time.

Messi assist vs Cincinnati

While the media — The18 included — love to always harp on Messi, plenty of credit needs to go to FC Cincinnati. The hosts went up 2-0 courtesy of goals from Luciano Acosta in the 18th minute and USMNT striker Brandon Vazquez in the 53rd.

They had Miami on the ropes.

Messi assisted Campana for the Herons’ first goal in the 68th minute to cut the lead in half.

Campana’s goal in the 97th minute forced the game into an extra 30 minutes and then it was Josef Martínez off the bench to give Miami their first lead three minutes into extra time.

Yuya Kubo scored with a sizzling strike in the 114th minute to level things at 3-3 and send it to penalty kicks.

The shootout went similarly to the Leagues Cup final with Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender playing the role as hero.

This is the eighth straight game that Miami have won.

Miami advance to the U.S. Open Cup final for a chance to win their second ever trophy. Awaiting them in the final will be either Real Salt Lake or Houston Dynamo.

If RSL win then the final will be played in Utah. If the Dynamo win then the U.S. Open Cup final will come to Miami and it could possibly be played in Hard Rock Stadium, the home of the Dolphins.

The final is on Wednesday, Sept. 27. 

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