Inter Miami CF II came away with a point in a thrilling 3-3 draw on the road against Atlanta United 2 Sunday night at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. The home team subsequently earned the extra point in penalties. The matchup featured the second professional career goal for 17-year-old Academy product Tyler Hall and two goals from Inter Miami CF’s First Team recent signing Lawson Sunderland, while defender Nyk Sessock registered two assists.
The team’s starting XI featured Cole Jensen in goal; Hall, Farid Sar-Sar, Sessock, and Israel Boatwright formed the back four; Sunderland, Santiago Morales and Ricardo Montenegro started in midfield; with forward Alejandro Flores, Bryan Destin, and Miles Perkovich leading Miami’s attack.
It was the Herons who had an early game opener in the 3rd minute through a goal by midfielder Sunderland with a right footed shot to the top left corner following an assist from left-back Sessock, giving Inter Miami II the 0-1 lead. The goal was his fourth this 2023 MLS NEXT Pro regular season, while the assist was Sessock’s team-leading fourth of the season.
Taking advantage of the early momentum, Inter Miami II was able to extend its lead with Academy product Tyler Hall securing the second goal of the night, placing the ball in the back of the net from a rebound following a free-kick in the 35th minute for the 0-2. The goal was the second for the defender this season.
Atlanta United 2 then managed their first goal of the night with a header from defender Noah Cobb in the 42nd minute.
Nevertheless, within a few minutes after Atlanta’s goal, the visitors struck again, closing out the first half with a perfectly placed assist from Sessock for Sunderland to secure his brace to put Inter Miami up 1-3 on the scoreboard. The goal was Sunderland’s’ team-leading fifth of the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro campaign, while Sessock’s second assist of the night took his team-leading tally for the season to five. The 1-3 scoreline then held until the end of the first 45 minutes.
Inter Miami II came out with an early attack, opening the second half with a goal scoring opportunity from midfielder Morales. Miami kept the high intensity going and remained steady on the ball with great passes and all-around play.
In the 68th minute, however, Atlanta United 2 struck again with a goal from midfielder Nick Firmino. The hosts then equalized with a goal from defender Kofi Twumasi in the 81st minute. The scoreline 3-3 scoreline held until the final whistle to send the match to penalties to decide which team would claim the extra point after the draw.
Inter Miami II finally fell 5-3 to Atlanta United 2 in the penalty shootout and the home team claimed the extra point.
Up next, Inter Miami CF II will be back with some more MLS NEXT Pro action at home as the team returns to South Florida to host NYCFC II Sunday, September 24 at 2 p.m. ET at DRV PNK Stadium.