Lionel Messi Benched In U.S. Open Cup Final, Houston Dynamo Emerge Victorious

Photo: Instagram/Lionel Messi 

In the U.S. Open Cup final, Lionel Messi found himself on the sidelines as Inter Miami CF suffered a 2-1 defeat to the Houston Dynamo.

This absence was due to an injury Messi sustained while on international duty with Argentina, and his manager, Gerardo Martino, had indicated that his availability would be a last-minute decision. However, when the lineup was disclosed before the final at DRV PNK Stadium, Messi's name was conspicuously absent.

Martino explained, "It was clearly not prudent for him to play, not even for a few minutes. We couldn't take the risk. But he will surely play again before the end of the season, based on the medical team's feedback."

Photo: Instagram/Lionel Messi 

Messi's former Barcelona teammate, Jordi Alba, also missed the match due to his own injury. Both players were seen in street clothes in the stands shortly after the match began. With these key players sidelined, Miami struggled, and Houston capitalized, scoring two goals in the first half.

Despite Miami's efforts to claw their way back into the game, they lacked the finishing touch and could only manage a late consolation goal. When the final whistle blew, Houston secured their second U.S. Open Cup, adding to their 2018 victory.

Gerardo Martino reflected on the match, saying, "Today, I saw a worn-out and tired team. We were also limited by the injuries, so our performance was affected by those circumstances."

Thousands of fans had gathered in the Fort Lauderdale area, many donning Messi jerseys in support. However, the disappointment was palpable as Messi was absent from the lineup. Ticket prices on secondary markets had soared, reaching up to $4,000 just an hour before the match.

Messi had been dealing with a leg injury related to scar tissue problems, leading to his intermittent appearances in Miami's lineup. Despite this, his impact since joining the team in July had been substantial, with 11 goals and contributions to a total of 16 in games where he played. Miami now faces a playoff race with five games left and hopes to secure a spot, trailing New York City FC by five points with two games in hand.

Read Next: Ronald Acuña Jr. Makes History With 40-70 Season, Braves Secure NL Championship Advantage

Source: ESPN

You May Like


Trending Now

NBA Showdown: Scott Foster Ejects Chris Paul In Explosive Warriors-Suns Game Amidst Longstanding Feud

Gregg Popovich Attempts To Halt Boos Against Kawhi Leonard, Spurs Fans Remain Unyielding

Chris Paul Reveals 'Personal' Issue With Referee Scott Foster Leading To Explosive Ejection

Victor Wembanyama's Explosive Dunk Steals The Spotlight In Clippers-Spurs Showdown

CM Punk Shocks Wrestling World With WWE Return at Survivor Series

Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban To Sell Majority Stake To Billionaire Miriam Adelson, Retaining Control of Team

Randy Orton's Explosive Return Steals The Show at Survivor Series War Games

Rookie Sensation Victor Wembanyama Makes NBA History In Spurs vs. Nuggets Clash

James Harden Makes NBA History With 1,011th Career Game In Nuggets-Clippers Match

Harping On Harper Hempel: The Viral Video And The Truth Behind Jamal Murray's Girlfriend