Atlanta United triumphed 2-0 against Inter Miami at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday afternoon as goals from Luiz Araujo and Josef Martinez propelled the home side to three points.
It only took four minutes for Atlanta to take the lead after Josef Martinez set up Luiz Araujo just outside the box to inspire the left-footed shot into the bottom corner.
The goal woke up Inter Miami’s attack, with Ariel Lassister and Leonardo Campana connecting to make a couple threatening runs forward. But before the visitors could find the equalizer, midfielder Jean Mota received his second yellow of the match to leave Inter Miami down to 10 men in the 30th minute.
The disadvantage proved too much for Inter Miami in the 61st minute, allowing Atlanta United to infiltrate the box too quickly. After an initial save from goalkeeper Drake Callender on Caleb Wiley’s shot, Luiz Araujo found the rebound and made a swift pass to Josef Martinez for the forward to finish it off and double the lead.
The game boosts Atlanta’s ranking on the Eastern Conference table, seeing them jump to ninth and leave Inter Miami in 10th. It was a much needed win for Atlanta, after failing to secure a victory in Major League Soccer since their 4-1 defeat of the Chicago Fire on May 7.
Despite an injury-laden roster, Gonzalo Pineda’s men completed the feat.
Atlanta United Player ratings
1. Atlanta United (4-2-3-1)
GK: Rocco Ríos Novo - 8.5/10 - Not regularly tested, but good performance for his first MLS appearance.
RB: Brooks Lennon - 7/10 - Seemed to have an off night, several opportunities inside the box but simply couldn't finish.
CB: George Campbell - 8/10 - A strong figure at the back. Reliant.
CB: Alan Franco - 7.5/10 - Solid. Consistent defending, not much more to ask from a center back.
LB: Caleb Wiley - 8/10 - An exciting prospect for Atlanta United at only 17 years old. Excellent on the left, manipulating space in the midfield to make vital runs forward.
CM: Emerson Hyndman - 7.5/10 - Substantial performance. A good supporting player.
CM: Franco Ibarra - 8/10 - Active in the midfield, distributing well and gaining possession.
RW: Luiz Araújo - 9/10 - Assisted the second goal and scored the first.
CAM: Marcelino Moreno- 7.5/10 - A slow start but picked up momentum in the second half. Kicked off the play that led to the second goal.
LW: Ronaldo Cisneros - 7.5/10 - Good involvement throughout, providing key passes from the midfield but took a backseat to Josef Martinez and Luiz Araujo.
ST: Josef Martínez - 9/10 - Assisted the first goal and scored the second.
SUB: Dom Dwyer (For Cisneros, '74) - 7/10 - Came in strong, but with little time.
SUB: Mikey Ambrose (For Wiley, '85) - N/A
SUB: Matheus Rossetto (For Araujo, '85) - N/A
SUB: Amar Sejdić (For Ibarra, '78) - N/A
Inter Miami player ratings
2. Inter Miami (4-3-3)
GK: Drake Callender - 8/10 - Solid performance, made six important saves.
RB: DeAndre Yedlin - 7/10 - Maybe the most active from the backline. Present when defending and pushed forward when possible.
CB: Damion Lowe - 6.5/10 - Inconsistent. Strong at times, and completely distracted at others.
CB: Aimé Mabika - 7/10 - Mediocre, but given credit for the reaction after losing Mota. But also almost scored an own goal if it wasn't for the post.
LB: Christopher McVey - 6.5/10 - Yet another inconsistent figure for Inter Miami. Not reliable.
RW: Indiana Vassilev - 6/10 - Underwhelming with only one shot on target in 60+ minutes.
CM: Robert Taylor- 7/10 - Didn't help, didn't completely hinder.
CM: Jean Mota - 0/10 - Reckless fouls led to 2 yellow cards and subsequent expulsion in the 30th minute.
CM: Bryce Duke - 7/10 - Just fine, but an overall disappointing performance from the team dragged him down.
LW: Ariel Lassiter - 7.5/10 - Active in the final third with decent runs into the box, but struggled when finishing.
F: Leonardo Campana- 7/10 - Disappointing. Given his recent performances, he was absolutely off tonight. 0 shots on goal in 90 minutes.
SUB: Víctor Ulloa (For Vassilev, '65) - 7/10 - Did fine, held off a third goal.
SUB: Emerson Rodríguez (For Taylor, '74) - 6/10- Couldn't inspire.
SUB: Kieran Gibbs (For Duke, 81) - /10 - N/A