Houston Dynamo win the U.S. Open Cup 2-1; defeat a Messi-less Inter Miami

Lionel Messi couldn’t play, and the Houston Dynamo took full advantage to win a trophy on his home field.

Griffin Dorsey and Amine Bassi scored first-half goals and Houston — with NBA star James Harden, part of the team’s ownership group, looking on from the stands — topped Messi-less Inter Miami 2-1 on Wednesday night to win the U.S. Open Cup.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 27: James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers watches the match between Inter Miami and the Houston Dynamo during the 2023 U.S. Open Cup Final at DRV PNK Stadium on September 27, 2023 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Ph

Josef Martinez scored in second-half stoppage time for Inter Miami, but it wasn’t enough as Messi could only look on from the team bench area.

Messi was not on Inter Miami’s active roster for the match because of a leg issue, marking his fourth absence in a span of his last five games combined for club and country. And it’s unclear if Messi will continue to be sidelined when Inter Miami resumes its push to make Major League Soccer’s playoffs this weekend.