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Recap: Lucky, plucky Loons hold on for first draw of season against SKC

An early goal from the visitors was cancelled out by Darwin Quintero and Bobby Shuttleworth shut the game down from there.

MLS: Sporting KC at Minnesota United FC Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota United’s lineup was fairly expected. Collin Martin picked up his second start of the year due to Ibson’s thigh injury. Alex Kapp was also named to the bench for the second game in a row because of a knee injury to Matt Lampson. Abu Danladi was healthy enough to be back in the matchday squad.

The Loons almost had a dream start to the match. Christian Ramirez managed to poke a cross into the net, but the goal was disallowed due to offside despite a deflection off of Sporting’s Matt Besler.

The almost-dream took a further turn toward a nightmare. On the other end, slumping striker Khiry Shelton finished Johnny Russell’s corner to give Kansas City the lead.

It only took a little more than ten minutes for Minnesota so be back in the game. A header from Darwin Quintero, set up by a Miguel Ibarra cross, was midhandled by goalkeeper Tim Melia, and the Loons’ DP made no mistake in scoring his own rebound.

The Loons had the better of the remaining first half chances, though they did not come terribly close to scoring in the rest of the first 45.

Rasmus Schuller nearly cost his team just a few minutes into the second half. His outstretched leg earned him a yellow card for a foul that was very close to the edge of Minnesota’s penalty area. The resulting free kick was on frame but no trouble for Bobby Shuttleworth.

Sporting were in control for much of the second half, forcing Shuttleworth to prove yet again what he can do. Brazilian midfielder Maximiano came on for a slightly-injured Collin Martin and Danladi returned to the pitch to a standing ovation as he replaced Alexi Gomez.

The remainder of the game was an implausibly natural combination of last-ditch yet controlled defending that saw Francisco Calvo play as a defensive midfielder and Brent Kallman get a chance in the back line.