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Notebook: Minnesota drops 2 points in Draw with Houston

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Minnesota United had the game at the half but couldn’t hold on

October 18, 2020 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath watches a replay on the jumbotron during the match against Houston Dynamo at Allianz Field.
October 18, 2020 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath watches a replay on the jumbotron during the match against Houston Dynamo at Allianz Field.
(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)

Sunday night at Allianz Field, Minnesota United drew 2-2 with Houston Dynamo. The Loons opened the match with two unanswered goals and carried a 2-0 lead into halftime. However it would not be there night as they allowed two consecutive goals from Houston Dynamo. And for the second time this season, after leading 2-0 against Houston they would draw 2-2. This was a draw that felt more like a loss when watching it, however Adrian Heath was happy just to leave with a point.

“I thought we were going to get away with it. We had a couple of moments of quality in the first half. Great run from Ethan [Finlay]. Great finish. A couple of quality balls. But, even in the first half, we looked, what we were. A team who hadn’t done an awful lot in two weeks. Didn’t look sharp. Didn’t look focused. And, you know, with the start that we had, I thought we were going to get away with it. But, as the game wore on, our decision making got worse and worse as we got tired. And, in the end, I was quite thankful that we got a point to be honest.”

Heath still was not pleased with this happening to his squad twice in a row to Houston.

“Well, I’m obviously not pleased with it. And, it’s one of them things that you don’t think about again. But, it has happened again. We actually mentioned it at halftime. You know, that we’ve been in this position before, but, that circumstances were a little bit different. We were playing regular and I felt more disappointed in Houston, to be honest, because there was not an excuse. I’m not giving them an excuse with the way that the game has changed tonight, but there are mitigating circumstances when you consider what the team has been through in the last couple of weeks.”

However not everyone agreed with Heath’s sentiment on just getting away with a point. Jacori Hayes, who did have a mistake that led to a Houston goal, was in a somber mood after the match.

“We’re all disappointed. We feel like it was a couple points lost and we could’ve been in a good spot in the standings with a game in-hand. You know, when you sit back and take it in as a whole, the lack of training we’ve had this week, and a couple games, kind of the off-up and-down mentality that we’ve had to go through…a little roller coaster here. A tie isn’t the end of the world, but definitely we’re a team with high aspirations, so 2-nil up at home going into the second half, you want to leave out of here with three points.”

Ethan Finlay, even when asked about positives, was still unhappy about the result.

“Every player personally can look at their game and I think for me I was disappointed I didn’t finish some great opportunities in the Nashville game. So it’s nice to get on the score sheet and get in those positions again. The reason we are disappointed is we expect to win these games. Any time you are up 2-0 at home the expectation is to win. This group has a mentality that we hold ourselves accountable, we hold ourselves to a higher standard and that’s why we are extremely disappointed. Tonight felt self-inflicted. Very unbecoming of what this group is and hwat we have worked towards in a very difficult year. We aren’t going to use it as an excuse that we had limited training but I think that you saw it as you looked around the field. People would think heavy legs shouldn’t be a thing if you’ve only had three days of training out of ten, but theres this sense of you need great power in your legs and you need to build into that throughout the week. Tonight there were some of those moments where we didn’t have the ability to keep the ball and to shift and move into space. It was due to us just not quite having the legs and the capacity in those moments to be calm and that’s why the game ended 2-2.”

However there were some positives to take away from the match on Sunday night and Adrian Heath noted that.

“Two good goals for Ethan [Finlay]. I thought Jacori Hayes, he’ll obviously be disappointed for his mistake for the goal tonight, but, I thought he had a really good first half. Him and Hassani [Dotson] started the game really strongly. But, obviously, there’s not an awful lot. Hopefully, the only positive might be that we get through unscathed apart from Hassani. And, if we do, that will help us in the buildup for next week.”

Extra Tidbits:

Update on Emmanuel Reynoso:

“Medical. Medical condition. Hopefully he’ll be okay, maybe, for next week.”

On Hassani Dotson’s foot and the tackle:

“Well, it looks really, really swollen. We’ll have a better idea tomorrow. I thought it was a really poor challenge. Yellow card, bordering on a red, maybe. But, it doesn’t look good for Hassani [Dotson] at the moment.”

[Ethan Finlay] On the return on Jan Gregus:

“I don’t know that. I know that Jan is back in Minneapolis and following whatever the quarantine rules for his travel so I don’t know those exact details but obviously we want to have every player available for this game. I’ll reiterate, it was not the reason we lost the game tonight, the group that we had available tonight was plenty good enough to win.”