Miami, Florida: A spellbinding performance by football legend Lionel Messi guided Inter Miami to their first-ever title as they clinched the League Cup in a thrilling penalty shootout victory over Nashville. The match was a roller-coaster ride of emotions, ending in an epic 9-10 shootout in favour of Miami, with Messi celebrating his remarkable 44th career title.
🏆💥 SOMOS CAMPEONES 🏆💥 pic.twitter.com/zpczG0eWjE
— Inter Miami CF (@InterMiamiCF) August 20, 2023
In a closely contested final, both Inter Miami and Nashville managed to find the back of the net once during regular time. However, it was Messi’s sublime left-footed long-range strike that truly stole the show. In the 23rd minute, Messi unleashed a mesmerising rainbow shot from outside the box, narrowly missing Nashville’s post. This moment of magic set the tone for an unforgettable encounter.
Inter Miami took an early lead in the first half, maintaining their advantage with some spirited play. But Nashville, showing remarkable determination, mounted a fierce comeback in the second half. In the 56th minute, Picoult found the equaliser, igniting hope among the Nashville faithful.
Messi, in his quest for glory, came close to breaking the deadlock once again, but his powerful shot struck the post and rebounded away. Despite both teams’ relentless efforts, neither could break the deadlock in regulation time, leading the match to be decided by a dramatic penalty shootout.
The shootout commenced with Messi stepping up for Inter Miami’s first kick, coolly finding the back of the net. This early success provided a massive morale boost to the Miami side. Nashville’s missed second kick tilted the balance in favour of Miami, intensifying the drama.
However, Inter Miami faltered during their fifth kick, missing a golden opportunity to secure victory, and the score stood at 4-4. The match then entered sudden death, where every player on both teams had to take a penalty.
The hero of the hour turned out to be Inter Miami’s Drake Callander, whose unerring accuracy secured the historic victory for his team. The atmosphere at the stadium was electric as the crowd erupted in jubilation.