August 04, 2018 11:12 PM
Forward Darwin Quintero struck early but amidst heavy pressure, Minnesota United failed to hold on late and suffered a 2-1 setback in stoppage time to Seattle Sounders on Saturday in front of a sellout crowd of 24,482 at TCF Bank Stadium.
Minnesota led, 1-0, in the closing moments of the game, but Seattle shocked the Loons with goals in the 92nd and 97th minutes to send them to a heartbreaking defeat.
“Obviously bitterly disappointed,” Head Coach Adrian Heath said. “Our home form has been really good. To come away with nothing is a little bit of a killer blow to be honest. They were hanging at the door and eventually they knocked it in.”
Seattle pinned the Loons in their own end and put them under frequent duress in the game’s opening minutes. With wingbacks Miguel Ibarra and Alexi Gomez hemmed in the defensive end, the three-man midfield was left spread out and MNUFC struggled to advance the ball up the field, but amidst the Sounders’ relentless pressure the back line held its shape well and stood strong.
Though the Sounders generated nine shots in the first half, including six in the first 16 minutes, Minnesota goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth was not forced into a save until the 41st minute.
But against the run of play, Seattle gave forward Darwin Quintero a sliver of space to work with in the 19th minute and he took full advantage. After being played in the box by Ibarra, Quintero sidestepped his defender and, in the same motion, slid the ball just inside of the far left post to open the scoring. The goal was Quintero’s seventh in the last seven games and his team-leading 10th of the season.
“After the first 15 minutes we started to control the game, got a good goal and had two or three other opportunities to go two up,” Heath said. “I think that might have done it.”
Quintero’s countryman and fellow Designated Player, forward Angelo Rodriguez, earned the start up top in his first MNUFC appearance and as his team settled in after Quintero’s goal, so did Rodriguez. Minnesota’s new No. 9 twice nearly opened his account late in the first half. He missed a header high in the 31st minute and put another headed effort off the post in the 43rd minute.
“He wanted to start and he felt really good,” Heath said. “He probably lasted a little bit longer than I thought he would. He gave us some strength. He feels like he probably should have scored, but he led the line well. He will give us a presence up there which is sometimes what we have needed.”
Rodriguez’s header off the post was the first of a pair of Minnesota chances to hit the woodwork in a two-minute span just before halftime. Quintero nearly doubled the lead in the 45th minute with a tight angle shot that went through Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei, but found the post.
Seattle again came out of the gate swinging in the second half, which led to a pair of close calls for the Loons. In the 58th minute, VAR was needed to determine conclusively that defender Francisco Calvo had not committed a handball in the box while sprawling to block a shot and, in the 63rd minute, Sounders forward Raul Ruidiaz was ruled narrowly offside on a play that ended with the ball in the back of the net.
The Sounders again racked up shots in the second half and finished the game with 20. That pressure finally paid off in the waning moments. In the 90th minute, VAR was again needed and this time judged that Ibarra was responsible for a handball on a Seattle service into the box. Midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro then stepped up and converted the shot from the spot to draw the visitors level at one.
Just moments later, Ruidiaz started a play that ended with forward Will Bruin racing through the defense and onto a headed pass. He beat Shuttleworth one-on-one to seal the Loons’ disappointing fate.
“In the second half I don’t think we ever really got going,” Heath said. “When the six minutes (of added time) went up I thought the worst, I have to be honest. They were in the ascendency. They kept putting the ball in our box. Ruidiaz flicks it on and then we’re not ready for the second one. So it is a poor goal and really disappointing.”
Minnesota United now embarks on a five-game road trip, beginning next weekend with a trip west to face the Los Angeles Galaxy. Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday, August 11 at 9:30 p.m. CT. Pre-game coverage will commence at 9:00 p.m. on FOX Sports North, streaming on FOX Sports GO and on MNUFC Radio on 1500 ESPN.
Minnesota United FC Starting XI: GK Bobby Shuttleworth; D Michael Boxall, Brent Kallman, Francisco Calvo; M Miguel Ibarra, Ibson, Collen Warner, Rasmus Schuller (Collin Martin 46’), Alexi Gomez; F Darwin Quintero, Angelo Rodriguez (Abu Danladi 69’)
MIN Unused Subs: GK Matt Lampson; D Wyatt Omsberg, Eric Miller; M Romario Ibarra; F Christian Ramirez
Seattle Sounders FC Starting XI: GK Stefan Frei; D Kelvin Leerdam, Kim Kee-hee (Roman Torres 38’), Chard Marshall, Nouhou Tolo (Waylon Francis 46’); M Gustav Svensson, Osvaldo Alonso, Cristian Roldan, Nicolas Lodeiro, Harry Shipp (Will Bruin 76’); F Raul Ruidiaz
SEA Unused Subs: GK Bryan Meredith; M Alex Roldan, Jordy Delem
19’ – Quintero (Ibarra) – MIN
90+1’ – Lodeiro (PK) – SEA
90+7’ – Bruin (Ruidiaz, Leerdam) – SEA
78’ – Francis (YC) – SEA
90+1’ – Ibarra (YC) – MIN
90+2’ – Lodeiro (YC) – SEA
Courtesy: Minnesota United FC
Updated: August 04, 2018 11:12 PM
Created: August 04, 2018 10:04 PM
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