MLS: Saba Lobjanidze scores twice as Atlanta United upend Inter Miami

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Saba Lobjanidze scored a pair of goals to lift Atlanta United to a 3-1 victory over the returning Lionel Messi and Inter Miami on Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Jamal Thiare also tallied and Tristan Muyumba, Brooks Lennon and Caleb Wiley each notched an assist to help Atlanta United (4-7-4, 16 points) snap their winless drought at nine matches (0-5-4).

Josh Cohen made five saves in place of Brad Guzan (red card) to send Atlanta to its first win since a 3-0 victory over the Chicago Fire on March 31.

Messi, who scored in the 62nd minute, joined fellow former FC Barcelona teammates Luis Suarez and Sergio Busquets in returning to Miami’s lineup after sitting out one match due to rest purposes.

Drake Callender finished with five saves for the Herons (10-3-4, 34 points), who saw their regular-season unbeaten streak halted at 10 games (7-0-3). The setback was Miami’s first since a 4-0 decision at the New York Red Bulls on March 23.

Messi nearly opened the scoring in the fourth minute but his header from the center of the box sailed just over the crossbar.

Lobjanidze scratched for the match’s first goal in the 44th minute. He dribbled the ball down the middle of the field and unleashed a shot from above the top of the box that sailed inside the left corner of the net.

Lobjanidze doubled the advantage in the 59th minute after his left-footed shot from outside the box curled inside the far post. The goal was Lobjanidze’s fourth of the season.

Messi halved the deficit three minutes later after his shot from outside the box beat Cohen. Messi’s goal was his 11th of the season, matching Suarez for the team lead.

Thiare regained Atlanta’s two-goal advantage in the 73rd minute after deflecting Wiley’s cross from the doorstep.

–Field Level Media

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