Inter Miami CF (9W-5D-12L, 32 points) narrowly fell 1-0 to Atlanta United FC on the road on Wednesday night. The match marked Inter Miami’s 50th competitive outing since its debut.
Inter Miami lined up with two changes to the starting XI from its last match; Leandro González Pirez returned from suspension, replacing Gregore, who was unavailable due to yellow card accumulation. González Pirez donned the captain’s armband in Gregore’s absence against his former team. Robbie Robinson also returned to the starting lineup in place of Julián Carranza.
Lewis Morgan's Milestone
Lewis Morgan once again started the match, marking his 50th total appearance for Inter Miami, starting in all 50 matches in Club history.
The opening moments set the tone for the half, with an open match being played at a frantic pace. A trio of half chances came Inter Miami’s way in the first 15 minutes, with Atlanta defenders denying looks for Robinson and Blaise Matuidi.
Atlanta also had chances of its own, but strong play from Inter Miami’s defenders limited the attempts on goal for the hosts. Notably, in the 15th minute, LGP cut out a pass in the box heading for an attacker in a dangerous area.
Inter Miami’s best chance of the half came in the 42nd minute, when a lovely passing sequence culminated in a pinpoint cutback pass from Kieran Gibbs into Robinson in the box, but the forward’s left-footed shot narrowly went wide. The match then went into halftime scoreless despite the threatening attacking play from both sides.
The second half opened at a slower pace, with the teams probing their opponents. It was Atlanta, however, who found the decisive goal in the half.
In the 73rd minute, the referee blew his whistle to signal for a handball in the box against Inter Miami, resulting in a penalty kick for the hosts. Josef Martínez stepped up to the spot and found the back of the net, taking a 1-0 lead for Atlanta.
Martínez’s goal proved to be the only one in the match, resulting in Inter Miami’s first loss to Atlanta.
"In terms of the way that they stuck to the game plan, the discipline of the team, the intensity of the team, I thought it was absolutely first class. What I've said to them in the dressing room is that it's probably one of our top performances that we've had without the final bit, without the reward at the end of it, without the result to back up the performance. Ultimately that's football, and we've got to bounce back quick," said head coach Phil Neville.
Inter Miami will continue its road trip this weekend, visiting the West Coast to take on the Portland Timbers on Sunday, Oct. 3 at 5:30 p.m. ET. The match will be broadcast nationally on FS1 and FOX Deportes.