Inter Miami continued its winning ways on Sunday, coming from behind to claim a 2-1 win over Eastern Conference opponents Atlanta United at DRV PNK Stadium. The match marked the team’s fourth win in a row, a new club record, and featured the continuation of a number of positive trends.
Creating Quality Chances
On Sunday, Inter Miami created the highest quality chance of the match as measured by xG (expected goals) when Bryce Duke netted the winner in the second half. The midfielder’s shot came after a swift counterattack, with MLS Week 8 Team of the Week honoree Leonardo Campana teeing him up with a pass into open space in front of an open net. The chance was measured at 0.92 xG, Inter Miami’s highest quality chance of the season by the statistic.
Campana’s unselfish pass to assist Duke seemed to highlight a positive trend for the team. After Inter Miami’s last loss, a defeat to the Houston Dynamo on April 2, head coach Phil Neville said, “sometimes maybe we shot a little too much and could’ve taken the extra pass.” Since then, the team has seemingly taken the coach’s direction, creating higher quality chances.
Another measure of the quality of chances being produced is the percentage of the team’s shots coming from inside the box. Against Atlanta, five of the team’s seven shots came from inside the box, signaling the continuation of the trend that has seen over 70% of the team’s shots come from inside the box over the team’s last three matches.
Campana’s Scintillating Form
Campana’s match-winning assist was just one part of his standout performance en route to the win over Atlanta. The Ecuadorian striker also netted Inter Miami’s first goal of the afternoon, taking a sublime touch to bring down a cross on the turn and scoring from a tight angle.
Campana’s performance earned him MLS Team of the Week honors for the second time in three weeks, Heineken Man of the Match honors for the third time in the tean’s last four matches, and brought his goal contribution tally up to five goals and two assists in the last matches. In total, he has six goals across all competitions and five in MLS, good for the second highest tally of any player in the league, while his rate of 0.91 goals per 90 minutes is the fourth highest in the league (minimum of three goals scored).
On Sunday, the striker not only led proceedings with a goal and an assist, but also with underlying metrics to match. He amassed three shots for an xG total of 0.88, the second highest in the match behind Duke, and an xA (expected assists) total of 0.52, the second highest total in the match behind Atlanta’s Brooks Lennon. His combined xG+xA total of 1.41 led all players in the match.
Mota as Midfield Metronome
In the absence of his Brazilian midfield counterpart Gregore, Jean Mota served as Inter Miami’s midfield metronome against Atlanta, anchoring the unit in the six position. Mota’s performance drew rave reviews from Neville after the match, and the stats back it up.
The midfielder thrived both in and out of possession for Inter Miami, notably leading the match with five interceptions and tying for the team lead by winning possession seven times. Mota also led the team in a number of categories in possession: 63 touches, 46 passes, 39 successful passes, and 17 passes in the opposition half. He was also efficient with his passes, completing 85% of them in total, and 94% of them in the opposition half.