Houston Dynamo manager Ben Olsen credited his team for showing off some strong ‘resiliency’ in the 2-1 US Open Cup final victory against Inter Miami.
The Dynamo got off to an early lead as Miami looked lost in attack throughout the first half as Lionel Messi sat out the contest with an injury. Messi has been dealing with a muscle issue as a result of scar tissue.
‘When things are clicking and we’re moving the ball, we’re dangerous,’ Olsen told CBS Sports after the conclusion of the game.
‘We showed two sides of us. For most of the second half, it was about resiliency, defending a little bit at times more than we wanted to but we saw it out.’
Houston led 2-0 at halftime while out possessing their opposition and outshot Miami by a wide margin throughout the first half.
Houston Dynamo manager Ben Olsen credited his team’s resiliency 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 field the Dynamo enjoyed even wilder celebrations in the locker room
‘Throughout the season, we’ve had to rely on both of those [sides],’ Olsen said. ‘You need to do both in this league. You can’t always play a full game at a really high level.
‘This team’s hard. If you don’t stick the knife in when you get a third chance, a fourth chance, you know they’re going to continue to come back.’
‘There’s too much quality on that field. They were missing a player or two, but I don’t really care. I don’t really care.’
The win gave Houston the franchise’s first trophy since 2018 and it appears the rebuild that Olsen was hired to lead in 2022 has begun showing results much quicker than expected.
‘It’s a wonderful feeling and all year we’ve been trying to build something and we’ve got a long way to go at the organization to get to where we want to be but this helps,’ Olsen said. ‘This speeds up some things. That’s what this is all about.’
The ‘wonderful feeling’ was nearly stolen away from the Dynamo after Miami nearly scored two goals in the final moments of stoppage time.
Josef Martinez was able to put Miami on the scoreboard in the 92 minute after he subbed into the game hoping to provide a second half spark.
Only two minutes later Miami nearly drew even after sending a header towards the top corner of the net. Houston goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell was forced to show off an impressive vertical as he jumped up and caught the ball before falling to the ground.
Tarbell’s late save would end up being the final clean-cut chance for Miami before the referee blew the final whistle only moments later.