Recap: Missed chances, questionable calls haunt Atlanta United in tough loss to Inter Miami

Atlanta United lost 2-1 away to Inter Miami on Sunday afternoon. Despite controlling the match and playing really attractive football, the visitors fell victim to well-executed counter-attacks and walked away empty-handed. The loss has dropped Five Stripes to 3-3-2 this season by scoring just 10 goals in eight games.

starting lineups

What happened

Gonzalo Pineda’s team got off to a fast start in South Florida, with pressure building from the start of the game. After some continuous pressure and several chances, Ronaldo Cisneros scored his first goal as an Atlanta United player to open the scoring in the 13th minute of the match. The striker demonstrated his poaching instincts by catching a loose ball from a corner kick and hitting a shot into the back of the net to open his MLS account.

Five Stripes enjoyed the majority of possession and chances throughout the first 45 minutes, but the hosts looked dangerous on the counter-attack. That threat materialized near the half-hour mark as an intriguing Leandro Campana scored his fifth goal of the season to raise the bar for the game. The Ecuadorean No.9 expertly shot a high ball into the attack area and scored a perfect finish past Bobby Shuttleworth.

Atlanta continued to dominate the game after the setback, notably enjoying success down the left with Andrew Guttman and Caleb Wiley. Despite creating a few good chances, they were unable to break the deadlock by entering the dressing room.

The trend continued until the second half as the visitors controlled the ball around the 18-yard Miami area but were unable to score the second goal. Their inability to produce a finished product would be costly again as a heron hit the counter for the second time. Taking advantage of George Campbell’s spin, they capitalized on the young defender’s lack of awareness and scored when Campana found Bryce Duke to make it 2-1 in the 62nd minute.

The biggest point of contention came 15 minutes into the game as Brooks Lennon beat his leg in the penalty area and appeared to be tripped by Noah Allen. Referee Jair Moffo said the incident did not deserve a whistle. VAR stepped in and Marrufo recommended taking a second look at the contact. After consulting the screen, he decided to carry on with his initial call, leaving Atlanta empty-handed.

Inter Miami were able to absorb it for the remainder of the match and did a fantastic job of thwarting the desperate Five Stripes, securing a home win over their northern opponents.

quick thoughts

  • This is a hard-to-swallow pill for Atlanta fans as the team looked great in just about every aspect back in the day. They played with great energy and intensity. The team play and off the ball movement were fantastic. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much in the way of the end product other than Cisneros’ lucky goal of a lucky bounce.
  • There is no doubt that Atlanta United and their supporters will be upset by the official in this match. There were two separate incidents that could have earned a penalty kick that was rejected by the referee. It is very difficult to stand such a brilliant performance in general.
  • Losing in this way is never easy to deal with. However, you should be encouraged by the way the team played back in the day. It’s still a dormant process, but signs are starting to show that this team understands the philosophy. It’s just a matter of refining it and getting some goals.

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