For the first time in their history Minnesota United left Portland with a point, not the three they wanted but a point nonetheless.
Minnesota United came out with a lineup looking glaringly similar to the one against RSL just a week prior. The reason is there were only two changed for Sunday’s match against Portland Timbers. On the field Chase Gasper would start in place of Wilfried Moimbé-Tahrat while off the field Wyatt Omsberg was called up from Forward Madison to replace the suspended Brent Kallman.
how the fellas line up on this fine Sunday afternoon... pic.twitter.com/cEWZgd4r2G— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) September 22, 2019
After the first half ended 0-0 MNUFC used their first sub with Lawrence Olum coming on the field to replace Ike Opara at the start of the second half. Ethan Finlay would replace Robin Lod in the 76th minute then Hassani Dotson replacing Darwin Quintero in the 80th minute.
While the match ended the same way as it started (0-0) there were two huge factors in why it stayed that way. Minnesota’s Vito Mannone who made 12 saves on 12 shots on target and the crossbar. With 49 shots between the two sides only 16 of those ended with the goalkeeper needing to make a save.
Loons Head Coach Adrian Heath said after the match “I thought we rode our luck at times. We turned the ball over too cheaply at times and then, on the reverse side, I thought that if we would have played with the quality that I know we possess, we could’ve won the game because we had too many really good opportunities and [we] didn’t really come back with the final ball or the really decisive pass. It’s a difficult place to come and we had to ride our luck a little bit at times. I thought Vito [Mannone] was excellent. Overall, satisfied with a point.”
Minnesota United goalkeeper Vito Mannone echoed Heath’s statement on being satisfied with coming away with a single point in Portland. Mannone stated when asked if he was disappointed with a single point. “Nah, not disappointing at all. It’s a difficult place to come, it’s a team with a...looking for playoffs like us. They were searching for the win and as I said, it’s a tough place to come, great fans behind the team. It’s a good clean sheet for myself and for my team but in general, it’s up to us to take the point home and push on Wednesday because we’ve got a massive one on our turf and one that can clinch the playoffs for us so missed opportunity, yes, but we go again as usual. If you ask me a while ago if a point was okay at Timbers, I would take it, so it’s a good point.”
Minnesota United’s next match is on Wednesday night at Allianz Field in St. Paul against Sporting Kansas City. Kickoff is set for 7:05 PM and if the Loons win they will clinch a playoff spot for the first time since 2015 in the NASL.