Minnesota United almost had it in the bag.
The Loons looked to be set to score a second goal and solidify an important win against a Western Conference foe, but a VAR-induced penalty enabled the Seattle Sounders to equalize late in the match. And the game didn’t stop there...
Manager Adrian Heath continued to roll out his 3-5-2, but there were a couple of changes in store for Saturday’s lineup. Wingback Alexi Gomez re-entered the starting XI, replacing Eric Miller. The biggest shift was in the start of new DP forward Angelo Rodriguez, who knocked Christian Ramirez to the bench. After a disappointing start to the season, Ramirez was beginning to find a solid stretch of form.
Well hello, Ángelo— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) August 4, 2018
3-5-2 | #ScarvesUpMN pic.twitter.com/BRYPBHRLkG
Seattle had the better chances of the opening minutes, including two close calls with Raul Ruidiaz. Cristian Roldán put a header just over the bar, something of a scare for the nervy defense.
Though the Sounders continued to be the stronger team, rountinely pushing into Minnesota’s end of the pitch, it was the Loons who would strike first. After an initial counter attack was snuffed out, Miguel Ibarra and Alexi Gomez exchanged crosses above Seattle’s penalty area. A pass from Ibarra would find Darwin Quintero inside the box and El Científico made no mistake with the footwork and the finish, giving United a 1-0 lead against the run of play.
Minnesota takes the lead with this goal. Minnesota 1-0 pic.twitter.com/s1ULORZbFO— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) August 5, 2018
The Loons quickly took control of the game after the goal. Rodriguez and Quintero both hit the post with efforts before halftime, but the hosts entered the break with only a 1-0 lead.
Collin Martin, who was warming up on the sideline near the end of the first half, replaced Rasmus Schuller at halftime. Schuller would have picked up a suspension with a yellow card.
Minnesota United received a bit of luck around the hour mark. Referee Drew Fischer went to the sideline monitor to check for a handball in the box by Francisco Calvo, but determined that it did not merit a penalty.
This play is currently under review. pic.twitter.com/QR0mlZLsJN— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) August 5, 2018
Ruidiaz almost scored his second MLS goal minutes later, but it was correctly called back for offside by the assistant referee.
Rodriguez’s debut came to an end just before the 70th minute. He was replaced by Abu Danladi.
Brent Kallman kept the lead intact with a diving-header clearance at the near post to deny the Sounders.
Ibarra, Ibson and Quintero failed to score on one end of the pitch in a three-on-one with goalkeeper Stefan Frei, then play was halted for a video review. The referee determined that a handball from Miguel Ibarra in the United box warranted a penalty. Nicolas Lodeiro converted. He took his shirt off to celebrate and was doused with beverages with the supporters section.
This is a handball. PK to Seattle. pic.twitter.com/eWsD6OPY6q— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) August 5, 2018
The game was not over yet. Seattle continued to pressure the Loons through the six minutes of stoppage time and received a reward for their efforts in the form of a Will Bruin winner.