Inter Miami CF Defeats Atlanta United FC 2-1 at Home
Inter Miami CF continued its unbeaten run at home with a 2-1 victory over Atlanta United FC at Inter Miami CF Stadium, extending its run to three matches. The hosts were led to victory by Lewis Morgan's first two goals for the team and a crucial penalty save by Luis Robles.
The match, which kicked off at 8 p.m. ET, featured cutouts in the stands of kids and families undergoing treatment at Baptist Health's Miami Cancer Institute Pediatric Cancer Unit as well as medical workers helping to save lives, as part of the Club's honoring of MLS's Kick Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
The match opened with two big chances for Inter Miami thanks to hard work from Robbie Robinson, who got his first start since March and was very active from the opening whistle. In the fifth minute, Andrés Reyes played a long ball over the top that found Robinson, who then slid a pass to his left to find Rodolfo Pizarro in front of goal. The shot was saved by Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan. Inter Miami almost took the lead in the 20th minute through another counter; Robinson once again featured as the focal point of the move, springin an attack with strong holdup play and a creative pass to release Pizarro. The Mexican international took the ball deep into the opposition half before sliding the ball back to Robinson on the left side of the box. Robinson then cut in past a defender and onto his right foot to deliver a curled shot just wide of the far post.
Inter Miami earned its breakthrough goal in the 28th minute through another potent counterattack; a powerful defensive header from Leandro GonzÃ¡lez Pirez freed Pizarro to collect possession deep in his own half before driving deep into opposition territory. Pizarro then layed the ball off to Heineken Man of the Match Morgan at the top right hand side of the box. Morgan took one touch into the box and fired a powerful low, right-footed shot inside the back post and into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead. The goal marked the first of the season for Morgan and the second assist of the season for Pizarro.
Atlanta United equalized five minutes later. Midfielder Eric Remedi stuck a shot from the floor after a scramble in the box to make it 1-1 in the 33rd minute.
Inter Miami regained its lead after another five minute increment had passed through another goal from Morgan. Ben Sweat started the move, beating two defenders to get into the box before delivering a right-footed pass to Morgan at the top of the box. The Scottish winger took one touch with his right foot, popped the ball up to himself and struck a venomous left-footed volley into the left side of the net for his second goal of the night and season, as well as a second assist of the season for Sweat.
The eventful half came to a close after a pair of crucial interventions by Inter Miami captain Robles. The goalkeeper was called into action in the 43rd minute when Atlanta was awarded a penalty and dove to his right to save Ezequiel Barco's shot. Atlanta appeared to score after a follow-up to Robles' save, but after a video review the penalty was re-taken. Robles once again stepped up to stop the penalty, this time diving to his left to deny Barco.
Inter Miami came into the second half with one new player on the field, bringing on rookie right back Dylan Nealis for NicolÃ¡s Figal.
Morgan continued to threaten the Atlanta goal in the second half, taking two more shots and creating chances before the end of the night. The first of his second-half attempts came in the 46th minute when he received a pass from Victor Ulloa at the top of the box, but his shot went high. Six minutes later, Pizarro delivered a long crossfield switch to Morgan on the right wing, who cut in, beat his defender and struck a left-footed off target. In the 61st minute, Morgan again drove forward with the ball, this time beating several defenders before clipping a pass to Robinson, who then slid a ball to Pizarro for a chipped attempt at goal that went just high.
Inter Miami made two more substitutions at the 60 minute mark, bringing on Juan Agudelo and Blaise Matuidi for his second appearance for the team. They replaced Brek Shea and Jay Chapman respectively, both of whom were making their second starts for the Club.
The hosts made two more changes before the end of the night, first bringing on JuliÃ¡n Carranza in place of Robinson in the 68th minute, and Wil Trapp on for Morgan in the 75th minute.
Inter Miami was able to limit chances for Atlanta for the remainder of the match and maintain its 2-1 lead through the final whistle, giving the team its second victory of the season and continuing its unbeaten run through its first three matches at Inter Miami CF Stadium.
The team will return to action this Saturday, Sept. 12 when it travels to face Orlando City SC at 7:30 p.m. ET at Exploria Stadium.
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