Suspensions to Michael Boxall and Francisco Calvo, along with Rasmus Schüller away on international duty, led to Adrian Heath making wholesale changes to the Starting XI. Only four starters remained the same since the Loon’s last match on August 25th. Ángelo Rodríguez and Miguel Ibarra retained their starting spots alongside Abu Danladi and Darwin Quintero. In the midfield, Heath decided to start two, count them, TWO defensive midfielders in Maximiano and Fernando Bob in what was Bob’s debut for Minnesota. Brent Kallman and Bobby Shuttleworth were the only players to make consecutive starts in the defense. Alongside Kallman on the backline was rookie Wyatt Omsberg, Jérôme Thiesson, and Marc Burch.
— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) September 12, 2018
The lineup signified a change in tactics from the 3-5-2 to a 4-2-3-1 with two defensive midfielders. Whether or not this tactical and formational change was forced by unavailable players will have to be revisited on Saturday.
The first chance of the match fell to Minnesota. Eight minutes in Quintero found Thiesson in space on the right wing. The Swiss fullback sent in a peach of a cross to Rodríguez who got tangled up with Steve Birnbaum in the box and could not make clean contact. Ibarra looked to clean up the mess but saw his effort blocked by a DC defender.
On a counter attack, Paul Arriola played a through ball into Wayne Rooney. Omsberg was there to make the clearance but, unfortunately, he also collided with Thiesson. Thiesson would try to walk off the knock but ended up being subbed off for Carter Manley.
After the injury, DC grew into the game. The first ten minutes were all Loons, but DC took over soon after Thiesson left the pitch.
DC was unlucky not to score in the 25th minute. Luciano Acosta and Wayne Rooney played a one-two that released Acosta into the box. Acosta tried to chip Shuttleworth but ended up too high.
In the 32nd minute, Minnesota held the ball well outside the DC box. Danladi received a pass outside the box and laid the ball off to Quintero. The Colombian lashed a shot toward goal but Bill Hamid was up to the challenge and made a diving save.
A long spell by DC outside the Minnesota box ended with a Rooney shot from distance. Shuttleworth made a spectacular diving save at the near post and DC was called offside when trying to corral the rebound.
— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) September 13, 2018
The half ended after some defensive scrambling by Minnesota. There were calls for a handball on Omsberg in the box by some DC players, but the ref was not interested in their claims. At the very end of the half Rooney once again played in Acosta who was shepherded of the ball by Manley.
For the second match in a row the first half went according to plan for the Loons. Minnesota was not played off the pitch and arguably had the best chances of the half. DC did look dangerous, but the defensive midfield pairing of Maximiano and Fernando Bob clogged up the middle and made things difficult for the DC attackers.
One minute into the second half, Rodríguez finally scored his first goal for the Loons. Maximiano made a tackle in the defensive third and immediately found Quintero. Quintero galloped up the field, flanked by Rodríguez on the left and Danladi on the right. The Scientist found Rodríguez who saw his first shot blocked by a DC defender, but did not give up on the play and put the Loons ahead with a powerful finish. The Juggernaut had arrived.
Minnesota did not take its foot off the gas pedal. On a seemingly innocuous cross by Abu Danladi, Bill Hamid pulled up and had to be tended to by DC trainers. During the break, striker Darren Mattocks was subbed on for center back Kofi Opare, a clear signal from Ben Olsen to his team to push forward.
The lead would not last for Minnesota. DC United equalized through Ulises Segura in the 65th minute. A ball by Acosta skipped past Rooney and Kallman and reached Segura. Manley was right on Segura’s back but the Costa Rican somehow found space to place the ball into the far post past Shuttleworth.
Off the restart, Kallman found Quintero near the box. The Scientist found space in the box and tried a low shot that nutmegged Steve Brinbaum but was saved by Hamid.
Soon after things went from bad to worse for Minnesota. Joseph Moura beat Manley to a 50-50 ball on the wing. Moura played a low cross to Mattocks that was easily converted by the super sub. In just five minutes Minnesota lost the lead and then went behind.
After the quick fire double from DC the match slowed down with neither side creating many clear chances. Ibson and Pangop were subbed on but failed to make an offensive impact. The Loons could not find an equalizer in five minutes of stoppage time and suffered another road defeat.
The second half started fantastically for the Loons and their new striker with Rodríguez finally breaking his duck, however, two quick goals from DC consigned the Loons to defeat once again.
47′ MNU – GOAL – Ángelo Rodríguez
57′ DC – YC – Russell Canouse (Unsporting Behavior)
65′ DC – GOAL – Ulises Segura (Assisted by Luciano Acosta)
68′ DC – GOAL – Darren Mattocks (Assisted by Joseph Moura)
72′ MNU – YC – Abu Danladi
87′ MNU – YC – Miguel Ibarra
90+5′ DC – YC – Joseph Moura
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