Inter Miami CF Defeats Atlanta United FC 1-2 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Inter Miami CF recorded its first win on the road with a 1-2 victory over Atlanta United FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Goals from Juan Agudelo and Heineken Man of the Match Brek Shea led the team to victory in the third matchup of the season between the two sides. The win was Inter Miami's third of the season and vaulted the team to just one point out of playoff position.
"I think it was undoubtedly the best match we've played on the road. We were able to take control of the match, with the ball and then at the end defending spaces well," said manager Diego Alonso. "We never stopped attacking, we were always looking for our third goal. I think it was important to threaten our opponents and I think it was a complete performance."
It was a rapid fire start to the match for both sides, with the opener coming in just the second minute for the visitors. Former Atlanta United player Brek Shea started the move with a long ball into Juan Agudelo, who expertly controlled the ball with his back to goal, turned, and delivered a through ball to free Lewis Morgan down the left wing. The Scottish winger took the ball toward the end line and hit a cut back pass into the box that was deflected back to Agudelo, who struck past Brad Guzan for a 0-1 lead for Inter Miami.
In what was a familiar cadence for a match between these two sides, Atlanta struck back just three minutes later. Jon Gallagher received a pass in the box, dribbled down the left side and struck a powerful shot into the roof of the net from a difficult angle to make it 1-1.
Inter Miami, however, retook its lead in the 11th minute. A quick throw-in by Morgan found Rodolfo Pizarro, who drove toward the endline on the right side and clipped a cross back into Shea in front of goal, who rose up and headed the ball into the back of the net against his former team for a 1-2 lead. It was also Shea's second goal of the season, coming in consecutive games, and both coming against former teams. The goal also marked Pizarro's seventh goal involvement of the season for Inter Miami and his fourth assist.
The visitors appeared to have two more goals in the first half, but a 19th minute strike from Agudelo was disallowed as he was called offside, and a 44th minute strike from Victor Ulloa was also disallowed by an offside call.
Inter Miami was able to control the game defensively in the second half and maintain its 1-2 lead through the final whistle. The win continued Inter Miami's positive run against reigning U.S. Open Cup and Campeones Cup champions Atlanta United, bringing the record to two wins and one draw against them.
Inter Miami will return to action next Wednesday, Sept. 23 when it hosts the New York Red Bulls at 8 p.m. ET at Inter Miami CF Stadium.
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