Image: Minnesota United
There’s no way around it. After leading 2-0 in the last 15 minutes of the match, allowing a pair of goals and ending in a 2-2 draw feels like a loss 100% of the time, even on the road against a playoff positioned side.
Minnesota United had three points in their hand Saturday night in Utah, thanks to early goals from Hassani Dotson and Emanuel Reynoso, but a 79th minute concession to Danny Musovski and a last-minute stoppage time equalizer from Justen Glad ripped two of those points from the Loons’ grip.
“Obviously, it feels like a defeat at this moment in time,” MNUFC manager Adrian Heath said. “We took a point from a game we should have taken three and that’s disappointing. We have some work to do with certain people.”
Two notable names on the team sheet were Reynoso making his first start since returning to the club and Bakaye Dibassy available as a sub after missing the last 10 months with a significant leg injury.
The Argentine would waste little time making his presence felt.
In the 27th minute, Reynoso sent a dangerous cross in the box that was punched away by RSL goalkeeper Zac MacMath. After his first attempt at goal was blocked, Dotson followed up with the rebound effort and put Minnesota up 1-0 early. Better late than never for Dotson’s first goal of the 2023 campaign.
Just 12 minutes later, the Loons’ talisman would get himself on the scoresheet, thanks to a nice run and looping pass from Sang Bin Jeong. Reynoso was all alone at the backpost to receive the feed and finish off the volley to double the visitors’ lead. It’s the first time in MLS play this year Minnesota have scored two first-half goals, and just the third time they’ve scored multiple goals in a match in general.
“[Reynoso’s] contribution to the game. Every time he got the ball, he created something. Every time he got in space, he looked like he would find the pass,” Heath said.
The hosts thought they had pulled one back just after halftime, as Pablo Ruiz scorched one past Clint Irwin from long range, but the goal was overturned by VAR for obstruction. Agree or not, MNUFC were able to maintain their 2-0 lead at the time.
A half-hour later, RSL did get themselves on the board, thanks to Musovski beating Irwin to the back post from outside the box.
Dibassy would make his 2023 debut in the 90th minute to try and help see out the win.
As the match entered its dying moments, the fourth officials board showed nine minutes of stoppage time. It’s not the first time this season the Loons have been tasked with killing off an extended amount of added time to secure a win.
“Well it didn’t surprise me but I was surprised,” Heath said.
After holding onto the lead for the first seven of those minutes, the dam broke at 90+8′. Diego Luna sent a cross into the 18-yard box, where Glad was able to send the fans home happy with a one-touch shot that found the back of the net.
The final whistle blew shortly after, with the scoreboard reading 2-2.
“We were right there today. It’s pretty disappointing, especially with the work we put in and they were able to come back from two goals,” Dotson said. “When we had our chances we looked dangerous once we were composed and broke their press. We have to take some of the negatives and work on that and keep moving forward with the positives.”
With the result, the Loons now have a 5-7-6 record and sit 12th in the Western Conference on 21 points.
Minnesota have a full week of recovery and preparation as they welcome Portland Timbers to Allianz Field Saturday, July 1st, but not before hosting FC Kaiseriauern in a friendly Wednesday night.