Houston Dynamo manager Ben Olsen credited his team for showing strong ‘resilience’ in the 2-1 US Open Cup final victory against Inter Miami.
The Dynamo took an early lead as Miami looked lost in attack throughout the first half, with Lionel Messi sitting out the match with an injury. Messi is struggling with a muscle problem due to scar tissue.
“When things are clicking and we’re moving the ball, we’re dangerous,” Olsen told CBS Sports after the game.
‘We showed two sides of ourselves. Most of the second half was about resilience, sometimes defending a little more than we wanted, but we saw through it.”
Houston led 2-0 at halftime against their opposition and outscored Miami by a wide margin throughout the first half.
Houston Dynamo manager Ben Olsen credited his team’s resilience after beating Inter Miami
Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba were not involved in the final due to injuries that kept them out
After celebrating on the pitch, the Dynamo enjoyed even more wild celebrations in the dressing room
“We had to rely on both sides all season,” Olsen said. ‘In this competition you have to do both. You can’t always play a full game at a really high level.
“This team is tough. If you don’t stick the knife in when you get a third chance, a fourth chance, you know they’re going to keep coming back.”
‘There is too much quality on that pitch. They were missing a few players, but I don’t really care. It doesn’t really matter to me.’
The win gave Houston the franchise’s first trophy since 2018, and it appears the rebuild that Olsen was hired to lead in 2022 is starting to yield results much faster than expected.
“It’s a great feeling and all year we’ve been trying to build something and we still have a long way to go with the organization to get where we want to be, but this helps,” Olsen said. ‘This speeds up a number of things. That’s what it’s all about.’
The ‘wonderful feeling’ was almost stolen from the Dynamo after Miami almost scored two goals in the final moments of stoppage time.
Josef Martinez put Miami on the scoreboard in the 92nd minute after coming on as a substitute in the hope of providing a spark in the second half.
Just two minutes later, Miami almost drew even after a header was sent towards the top corner of the net. Houston goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell had to show off some impressive verticality as he jumped up and caught the ball before falling to the ground.
Tarbell’s late save would ultimately be Miami’s last clear chance before the referee blew the final whistle moments later.