Birmingham, Alabama – Birmingham Legion FC fought from start to finish, but a second-half goal from Nico Stefanelli kept Inter Miami CF in the semi-finals of the Lamar Hunt 2023 US Open Cup at Protective Stadium on Wednesday night. USL’s hopes were dashed. The championship team will once again make history in front of their home fans.
Legion FC created a chance within the first 90 seconds, with Gabriel Alves sending in a cutback cross for Enzo Martínez through Prosper Kassim on the left and a shot from the top of the penalty area by IMCF goalkeeper Drake Callender. Saved. The away side then began to settle down, but Birmingham threatened again in the 23rd minute, demanding and retreating for a penalty when Kassim’s shot appeared to be blocked by Sergiy Krivstov’s hands inside the box. .
Ten minutes later Martinez threatened with a powerful shot from the top right corner of the penalty area into the left corner, but it was well off the calendar as the hosts built up good pressure, but the game went into the half-time break. rushed into. No score.
When Birmingham threatened early in the first half, Miami’s Corentin Jean entered the left of the penalty area, but the shot was rushed and deflected by Legion FC goalkeeper Matt Van Orkel to start the second half. However, the visitors took the lead in the 56th minute, eight yards short of Jan’s cross from the right and Stefanelli’s first goal.
Miami had two chances to extend their lead, but were denied by Van Orker. First, Josef Martínez fired a low shot into the bottom left corner, but he swerved wide and then Franco Negri fired a powerful shot from direct distance from the Legion FC goalkeeper. I made a dive stop to avoid it.
With 15 minutes remaining, Alex Cronyard stepped forward from the position of centre-back and whistling a shot from just 35 yards from the left post. After a minute Tyler Pasher had trouble controlling the finish. He created a chance 14 yards out from a complicated build-up and scored on target.
Pasher produced a much cleaner offense with six minutes remaining, forcing Callendar to make a diving save with a long-range shot. The US Men’s National Team goalkeeper had to make a big save to avoid making his teammates blush when slicing a shot. Clearing a free kick towards the own net. A late chance controlled well by Juan Agdero, but the ball was struck from a corner before the shot could be taken, but Birmingham were unable to equalize and ended their club’s best ever Open Cup performance. .