Atlanta United 2 defeated Inter Miami CF II 5-0 Sunday night at Fifth Third Bank Stadium as Nick Firmino and David Mejía each scored a brace while Erik Centeno netted his first goal of the year. Academy players Rocket Ritarita and Remi Okunlola each made their professional debuts as second-half substitutes. Additionally, Atlanta United midfielder Osvaldo Alonso made his 2023 debut for ATL UTD 2 on Sunday, playing 27 minutes as a substitute. It was Alonso’s first competitive action in 14 months after he suffered an ACL injury on April 2, 2022.
Following an hour-long lightning delay, Atlanta grabbed an early lead in the 16th minute when Centeno scored off a rebound that came off the hands of Miami's goalkeeper Owen Finnerty. The play began with Luke Brennan regaining possession in Atlanta's own half. The winger pushed forward down the right sideline but was taken down on a foul. However, advantage was played, and Karim Tmimi continued to dribble deep into the box before forcing a diving save that rebounded directly to Centeno in front of goal for the finish.
Atlanta continued to threaten Miami's goal with a series of opportunities coming after the Centeno goal. Brennan was fouled again by Cesar Abadia-Reda on a breakaway that led to a free kick from outside the box for Firmino. A direct free kick that sailed just over the crossbar nearly gave Atlanta the two-goal lead. Abadia-Reda was sent off during the play in the 34th minute for his second yellow of the night, and left Miami a man down with more than a half to play.
In the 66th minute, Firmino played Toni Tiente in the box for a give and go to net his sixth goal of the season and double the team's lead. Tiente's pass back to Firmino left the Brazilian midfielder open to blast a shot past Finnerty and into the roof of the net.
Just two minutes later, an Atlanta counterattack in the 68th minute gave Firmino his second goal of the night and seventh on the year. Firmino received the ball in the attacking third and raced to the box before firing his shot low towards the near post, leaving Finnerty with no chance at making a save to give Atlanta the 3-0 lead.
In the 79th minute, Mejía scored his first goal of the season to give Atlanta the 4-0 lead. Ritarita sprinted down the right sideline and found Firmino inside the box. Firmino took two touches before dumping it off to Mejía making a run deep into Miami's territory. Mejía blasted his shot to the lower right corner.
As time was winding down, Mejía added one more to his goal total in stoppage time. Ritarita's cross from the right side found Mejía making a run into the box for the one-touch goal past the outstretched arms of Finnerty for the 5-0 victory. It was Ritarita's first professional assist.
ATL UTD 2 returns to action Friday, June 9 at Subaru Park to take on Philadelphia Union II (7:00 p.m., MLSNEXTPro.com). Some ATL UTD 2 matches are available with an MLS Season Pass subscription, located on the Apple TV app while the remainder of matches are streamed live on MLSNEXTPro.com.
Shots: 15-5 Atlanta
Shots on target: 6-1Atlanta
Corner kicks: 3-2 Atlanta
Fouls Committed: 20-9 Miami
xG: 1.64 - .15 Atlanta
Possession: 55-45 Atlanta
Passing accuracy: 90-84 Atlanta
ATL - Erik Centeno 16'
ATL - Nick Firmino (Toni Tiente) 66'
ATL - Nick Firmino (David Mejía) 68'
ATL - David Mejía (Nick Firmino) 79'
ATL - David Mejía (Rocket Ritarita) 93'
MIA - Miles Perkovich 🟨 22'
MIA - Cesar Abadia-Reda 🟨 28', 🟥 34'
ATL - Erik Centeno 🟨 57'
MIA - Farid Sar-Sar 🟨 89'
- David Mejía scored a brace that included his first goal of the season.
- Erik Centeno scored his first goal of the year.
- Nick Firmino scored two goals to lead the team with seven, and added his second assist of the year.
- Rocket Ritarita, Remi Okunlola made their professional debuts. Ritarita added his first professional assist.
- Osvaldo Alonso made his debut for Atlanta United 2.