Atlanta United run riots, as Messi-less Miami suffers first defeat in months
No Messi, No Party. As Inter Miami suffered their first loss last night since Lionel Messi’s arrival in July. The game was witnessed by 71,635 fans at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The home team took the lead at the end of the first half thanks to goals from Tristan Muyumba, Brooks Lennon, and an own goal from Kamal Miller. Georgios Giakoumakis and Tyler Wolff then gave Atlanta two more goals to raise their home record to nine wins, three draws and three losses. The team’s position in the MLS Eastern Conference after the win is still sixth.
A Leonardo Campana brace was not enough as Inter Miami’s unbeaten streak of 12 games came to an end.
According to Miami manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino, Messi and Spanish de fender Jordi Alba were both absent from the game. Martino claimed that their absences were due to “muscular fatigue” rather than the FieldTurf surface at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Inter Miami trailed 3-1 early in the second half, but Campana’s second goal off a penalty kick pulled them to within one.
Giakoumakis and Wolff added insurance goals for Atlanta in the 76th and 89th minutes, respectively, regaining the two-goal advantage. With his 14th goal, Giakoumakis tied for the league lead.
Inter Miami took the lead in the 25th minute on Campana’s eighth goal of the season. Atlanta overcame the deficit by tallying three goals in the space of eight minutes to lead 3-1 at the break.
Using quick footwork, Campana got past Atlanta defender Miles Robinson and defeated Brad Guzan after Dixon Arroyo’s shot hit the post and rebounded.
By putting a header past Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender in the 36th minute, Atlanta’s Muyumba equalised. It wasn’t immediately apparent from the video during the play review whether the ball had crossed the goal line.
Atlanta took the lead after scoring on its own goal. Inter-Miami defender Kamal Miller caused the shot from Xande Silva to be deflected past Callender.
Lennon scored Atlanta’s third goal of the contest after receiving a cross from Caleb Wiley. He beat Callender with a right-footed shot from the centre of the box.
Three days later, on September 25, Miami will play the Houston Dynamo in the U.S. Open Cup final after playing Toronto at home on Wednesday and Orlando away on that same day.