Teenage Hadebe’s Dynamo beat Messi-less Inter Miami

Zimbabwean Teenage Hadebe’s team Houston Dynamo FC showed their revival is well underway by claiming the 2023 US Open Cup title, defeating Lionel Messi-less Inter Miami CF 2-1 in Wednesday’s final at DRV PNK Stadium.

First-half goals from Griffin Dorsey and Amine Bassi (penalty kick) clinched the Dynamo’s first trophy of the Ben Olsen era, and their first overall since a 2018 USOC conquest. Second-half substitute Josef Martínez pulled one back for Miami in stoppage time, but it was too little too late as the hosts were left empty-handed.

The injured Messi wasn’t in head coach Gerardo Martino’s team sheet – nor was fellow superstar summer signing Jordi Alba – and Houston took full advantage, outplaying and outperforming a Miami side that lacked the power and precision the legendary No. 10 supplied en route to their historic Leagues Cup 2023 title last month.

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First-year head coach Olsen had the tactical edge over Martino from the start, with the Dynamo dominating the hosts in virtually every offensive metric in the opening 45 minutes.

That scenario inevitably led to Dorsey’s 24th-minute opener, the culmination of a perfectly worked build-up the fullback slammed home with his right boot. Eleven minutes later, another line-splitting sequence gave DeAndre Yedlin no recourse but to foul Nelson Quiñónes inside the box. PK specialist Bassi took care of the rest, beating goalkeeper Drake Callender from the spot to add to Houston’s cushion.

Miami flirted with a late comeback via Martinez’s quick-look goal, but Houston would not be denied.

The Zimbabwean joined the Houston Dynamo following two seasons with Yeni Malatyaspor in Turkey, which saw him earn Süper Lig Team of the Season honours following his first year with the club.

The left-footed central defender also represented Yeni Malatyaspor in the UEFA Europa League against Olimpija from Slovenia in a tournament qualifier in 2019.

Internationally, Hadebe has earned 17 caps with the Zimbabwe Men’s National Team since making his debut as a 21-year-old in a 3-0 victory against Liberia in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

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