Well, that was unfortunate.
Minnesota United fought hard, but could not come away with the win against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
In the first half, the teams played a back and forth game that often times ended up stuck in the midfield. The Loons pressed hard for the first 10 minutes but didn't have any real chances to speak of.
Things started to heat up for the Loons after the 20th minute when Marc Burch played a fantastic ball to Miguel Ibarra. Ibarra had a phenomenal first touch to settle the ball and blasted a far-post shot that required a dexterous save by Galaxy keeper Brian Rowe. Minnesota had another fantastic chance just after that off of a corner, when Brent Kallman’s header went on frame but was cleared acrobatically off the goal line by Emmanuel Boateng.
The play was truly wide open at this point, and momentum swung the Galaxy’s way as Joao Pedro smacked a knuckling shot that Bobby Shuttleworth made a quick save on. The Galaxy struck first, though, on a wonder goal from Giovani dos Santos. The ball was played in by Romain Alessandrini and dos Santos flicked just past the diving Bobby Shuttleworth. The defense was decent on the play but the backline was beat by a great run and a physics-defying flick.
Both teams seemed to settle down after the Galaxy’s opening goal, and Minnesota was unable to score despite a couple of shots from Abu Danladi and Johan Venegas. The teams went into the half with the Galaxy leading by a goal to nil.
The gaffer must have gotten into the head of the players for the second half because the Loons came out firing and had a couple of fantastic chances early. Johan Venegas played a clever ball into space that went untouched by a trio of Galaxy defenders and put Miguel Ibarra one-on-one with the keeper. Ibarra had a fantastic shooting opportunity but opted to slot a pass to Christian Ramirez who fired a shot that was blocked by Ashley Cole. This was an incredible scoring chance that was squandered by one player’s unselfishness. The pass to Ramirez did little else but give Ashley Cole enough time to recover and block a shot.
The Loons increasing attacking effort continued to pile the pressure onto the Galaxy backline and Christian Ramirez nearly equalized in the 56th minute. A cross from wide left found Ramirez who was unmarked in the box. Superman headed the ball near post but Brian Rowe made a fantastic reaction save to deny the Loons of a surefire equalizer.
Minnesota was finally able to tie the game in the 66th minute when Sam Cronin headed a failed Galaxy clearance into space which found Christian Ramirez in the box. Ramirez made a fantastic run and pounced on the ball and sent it into the back of the net.
The Loons would continue to push forward and mount attacks in order to find a go-ahead goal but were unable to score. Then... disaster struck. A set piece was swung into the Loons penalty area in the 84th and iffy marking led to the ball landing at the feet of Ramirez. Ramirez panicked while trying to clear the ball and ended up slotting it into his own net. A late push would prove fruitless as the Loons fall in a heartbreaker, 2-1.
This is the second straight contest where Minnesota United “snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory”. They possessed the ball 31 percent more than Los Angeles did and had seven shots on target but scored just once. This game will hopefully light a fire under the squad as they need to realize that one slip up can cost you three points in MLS. Next up for the Loons is a home game against manager Adrian Heath’s former club, Orlando City.