Atlanta United lost to Inter Miami CF 2-1 Saturday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Jon Gallagher scored his first MLS goal and George Bello added his first assist. After a wide-open first 15 minutes of the match, Atlanta began to control the pace and possession of the match, and despite a hard-fought effort that saw Atlanta win 59 percent of its duels – its second highest of the season – the team was unable to find an equalizer.
The action started early with Inter Miami CF starting the scoring less than two minutes into the match. After Juan Agudelo played Lewis Morgan free down the left flank, Morgan crossed into the box for Rodolfo Pizzaro. Miles Robinson was there to clear, but unfortunately for Atlanta, his clearance was deflected right toward Agudelo, who had an open shot from 10 yards that the veteran striker was able to finish for a quick 1-0 lead.
Atlanta immediately answered, however, as Gallagher smashed home a goal in the fifth minute. Luis Robles’ failed clearance fell to Jake Mulraney and two passes later, Bello was in along the left wing where he found Gallagher open with space inside the box. After taking a couple of touches, Gallagher ripped a left-footed shot into the upper corner to equalize.
Miami was able to re-take the lead in the 11th minute from Brek Shea. Off a throw-in, Pizarro found space near the end line and crossed over the top of Brad Guzan to find the 6-foot-3 winger, where the veteran was able to head in the go-ahead goal.
Despite controlling possession for the majority of the second half with 63 percent, Atlanta was unable to find an equalizer. Second-half substitute Cubo Torres had the best opportunity in the 69th minute, heading a cross from Brooks Lennon, but Robles’ diving save kept Miami ahead.
Atlanta United (3-7-2, 11 points) returns to action Wednesday, Sept. 23 against FC Dallas (7:00 p.m., FOX Sports Southeast, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game, La Mejor).
Shots: 14-8 Miami
Shots on Target: 5-3 Miami
Corner kicks: 4-3 Miami
Fouls committed: 11-9 Atlanta
Offside: 4-3 Atlanta
Possession: 84-76 Miami
Passing Accuracy: 57-43 Atlanta
MCF – Juan Agudelo 2’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL – Jon Gallagher (George Bello, Jeff Larentowicz) 5’ [HIGHLIGHT]
MCF – Brek Shea (Rodolfo Pizarro, Lewis Morgan) 11’ [HIGHLIGHT]
ATL – Franco Escobar (yellow) 17’
MCF – Andres Reyes (yellow) 63’
MCF – Luis Robles (yellow) 90+3’
ATLANTA UNITED STARTING LINEUP
Brad Guzan ©; George Bello, Miles Robinson, Anton Walkes, Franco Escobar; Eric Remedi (Emerson Hyndman – 69’), Jeff Larentowicz, Mattheus Rossetto; Jon Gallagher (Manuel Castro – 77’), Adam Jahn (Erick “Cubo” Torres – 60’), Jake Mulraney (Brooks Lennon – 60’).
Substitutes not used: Alec Kann, Laurence Wyke, Edgar Castillo, Fernando Meza, Tyler Wolff.
INTER MIAMI CF STARTING LINEUP
Luis Robles ©; Nicolas Figal (Dylan Nealis – 68’), Andres Reyes, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Ben Sweat; Lewis Morgan (Matias Pellegrini – 90+1’), Blaise Matuidi, Victor Ulloa, Brek Shea (Roman Torres – 90+1’), Rodolfo Pizzaro (Wil Trapp – 79’); Juan Agudelo.
Substitutes not used: John McCarthy, Jay Chapman, A.J. DeLaGarza, Mikey Ambrose.
Jair Marrufo (referee), Kevin Klinger, (assistant), Tom Felice, (assistant), Elvis Osmanovic (fourth), Alejandro Mariscal (VAR)
- Jon Gallagher scored his first goal with the First Team. He had scored seven goals at the USL level with Atlanta United 2.
- George Bello picked up his first assist with the First Team. Bello has made 12 MLS appearances and already scored two goals.
- Jeff Larentowicz made his 429th MLS Regular Season appearance, second all-time by a field player in MLS history behind Kyle Beckerman (493).
- Larentowicz also started his 390th MLS Regular Season match, third all-time by a field player behind Kyle Beckerman (459) and Chad Marshall (404).
- Atlanta had 63 percent possession in the second half.
- Atlanta won 59 percent (50-for-85) of duels during the match.