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Miami Falls And Cibao Triumphs

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Dominican Edison Azcona's Inter Miami was without Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The team in pink and black failed to secure a victory against Atlanta United. Atlanta emerged victorious with a final score of 5-2.

On the other hand, the Cibao FC team achieved a resounding 6-2 victory over O&M FC in a rescheduled game of the Liguilla of the 2023 tournament of the Dominican Soccer League.

Atlanta Crushes Miami

This loss has further complicated Miami's playoff quest. Inter took an early lead over Atlanta thanks to Leonardo Campana's goal in the 25th minute, Campana's eighth goal of the season.

Campana took the rebound of Dixon Arroyo's shot, which hit the post, and beat Atlanta defender Miles Robinson with a fancy dribble before beating Brad Guzan.

However, Atlanta managed to respond with three goals of their own in the first half.

Muyumba scored the equalizer for Atlanta in the 36th minute, placing a header past Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender. The play was reviewed to determine if the ball crossed the goal line, but the video was inconclusive.

Campana scored his second goal from the penalty spot early in the second half, becoming just the second player in club history to score 20 goals in a regular season for the South Florida team.

With this result, Atlanta became the first team to defeat Inter Miami since Messi joined the team.

Miami coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino mentioned that Messi and Spanish defender Jordi Alba did not participate in the game due to "muscle fatigue". He added that their absences were not related to the artificial turf surface at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Meanwhile, Atlanta United coach Gonzalo Pineda learned of Messi's decision through social media.

The Atlanta coach commented that his team was focused on their own game and that is why the news of Messi and Alba's absence was not of major relevance.

Messi returned from international competition with Argentina, but did not travel to Atlanta for the match despite training on Thursday and Friday.

Cibao Climbs to the Top of the League

In the match between Cibao FC and O&M FC, the scorers stood out. For the orange team, Ernesto Trinidad scored in the 40th minute, Julio Cáceres in the 43rd minute.

In the 46th minute, Arichell Hernández scored for O&M from the penalty spot. Thus, the first half ended with a 2-1 advantage in favor of Santiago.

In the second half, in the 50th minute, Facundo Guichón increased the lead to 3-1 in favor of Cibao, and then extended it to 5-1 with goals by Carlos Ventura in the 66th minute and a brace by "Che" Trinidad in the 70th minute.

The universitarios scored their second goal in the 84th minute thanks to Kensy Guerrero, and the score ended 6-2 in favor of the orange team, with a goal by Erick Japa in the 90+2nd minute.

With this victory, the Cibao team is in first place in the second phase of the tournament with 16 points, equaling the position of Club Atlético Pantoja and Moca FC. There is one game left to play.

The next date of the Dominican Soccer League 2023 Liguilla will take place this Saturday night, September 23.

Atletico Pantoja will host Moca FC at the Panamericano Stadium in San Cristobal, Atletico Vega Real will face Atlantico FC in La Vega, and at the Felix Sanchez Olympic Stadium, O&M FC will take on Cibao FC.

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