Minnesota United salvaged a 1-1 draw against Nashville SC Saturday evening at Allianz Field courtesy of a second half strike from Hassani Dotson.
A near 75 minute Lightning delay forced the two teams to abandon the pitch in the 54th minute of play, with Nashville SC leading 1-0. However, after returning to the water-logged grounds, the Loons found their groove and their lone goal.
A moment of magic between Emanuel Reynoso and Luis Amarilla on a cheeky set piece pushed the initial ball into the box and after a few deflections, including one off the post, the ball landed at the feet of Hassani Dotson to tap home.
“That’s Rey [Emanuel Reynoso] and Luis [Amarilla] special. It’s a good job we scored from it because I wouldn’t have been best pleased,” head coach Adrian Heath said. “It’s great Rey sees things. I knew that when Luis was out there and not in the box, he was probably gonna try and find him. Luis is a goal scorer and wants to be in the thick of it. I knew they probably worked on something.”
Reynoso lined up on the left side of the box to take the free kick, with Nashville expecting a ball into the box. Instead, the Argentine hit the ball to the top of the box, where Amarilla was lined up for a volley. The volley caused chaos and commotion, as the ball pinged around, but eventually Dotson was able to poke home.
Loons fullback DJ Taylor was lined up behind Amarilla and saw the free kick special coming, but admitted that it appeared to be a play that nobody else expected coming.
“I don’t think anybody had an idea. I did, just because I was behind Luis [Amarilla],” Taylor said. I could tell from Rey [Emanuel Reynoso] the way he looks, kind of with my spanish culture, playing in Spain, I could tell it could be on if they wanted to do it and with Rey’s quality, he can do whatever he wants.”
The goal scorer, Hassani Dotson, happened to be in just the right place at the right time. Admittedly, however, Dotson thought it was a “weird” play that came unexpectedly.
“It was weird. Luis [Amarilla] made a nice strike on the ball and then Bakaye [Dibassy] was in front of me. He tried to deflect it, missed it, and I missed it, hit Michael [Boxall], and I turned and I thought it was going in. I saw Walker [Zimmerman] there, and it just hit off the post nicely. And I was able to be there to follow it up,” Dotson said.
The draw was their second straight in as many weeks to begin the season. Heath felt that the squad “maybe did enough” to earn three points in week 1, but were lucky to not fall behind and walk away with zero points against Nashville. Despite that, he was “really pleased” with the performance the Loons gave after the lengthy weather delay.
Minnesota United next travels to Red Bull Arena on Sunday, March 13 for Matchday three against the New York Red Bulls.