After an 80th-minute strike from Brek Shea appeared set to vault the expansion side into an Eastern Conference playoff spot, Miami were left disappointed in not seeing the game out.
Head coach Diego Alonso believes the scales will soon tilt in their favor, though, with their next chance coming Saturday against a Montreal Impact team that’s lost back-to-back games (7 pm ET | TV & streaming info).
“The frustration is logical at not being able to win when you clearly deserve it,” Alonso said afterward. “But what you have to do is hold your head high, trust in the players, believe and surely soccer will pay us back in an upcoming game. There will be some games we don’t deserve to win and we’ll take the points because soccer can’t be so unjust to a team that’s been playing like this team has been playing.”
Wil Trapp added that Miami will be treating each of their last five regular-season like a final. The expansion side is only one point removed from the East’s 10th and final spot in the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Highlights: Inter Miami CF 1, Atlanta United 1
Had Miami staved off Mulraney’s goal, they’d have reached three games unbeaten – a mark of progress for a club that began 2020 with five straight losses.
“Once you score, the opposing team is the one that should be on their heels,” Trapp said. “I think the posture we need to take is a more aggressive one after we score. Not just ceding possession and ceding field position. It’s purely mentality. Nothing to do with how we were playing the game up to that point. It’s just a concentration aspect.”
For Atlanta, the sentiment was more rooted in getting a road point and quickly regrouping. They occupy the East’s No. 10 spot heading into the weekend, though several teams – including Miami – are nipping at their heels.
“Any time you lose a goal that late, you’re happy with the point,” interim head coach Stephen Glass said. “We get the one [point]. The importance of them not getting three is just as important. The spirit of the group has seen us over the line in the end.”
As Miami recharge, Alonso encouraged his side to put games to bed and meet the pressure at hand.
“We have to be much more on top of the game, especially if we’re in the lead: to be more compact, more concentrated, good pressure, be aggressive – to keep playing like we do,” Alonso said. “We can’t disguise ourselves like another team. When we’ve played 80 minutes in a certain way, we can’t put on a disguise. We have to continue playing the same way."