Minnesota United kicked off their second game of this first stage of Major League Soccer’s return to play tonight against FC Dallas. And even before kickoff or roster reveals the first news was the heat and humidity in the DFW area. Just a few hours before kickoff it was 106 degrees in the area. Yikes.
Minnesota would shift from a 4-3-3 they were announced with against Sporting Kansas City to a 4-2-3-1 formation. The only big change on the Starting XI being Lod replacing Dotson. Amarilla would shift up from last time with Molino moving to the center and Lod taking the spot on the left side.
Unfortunately it would be the home side scoring first on the night, in only the 10th minute. Fabrice-Jean Picault took the ball in from the side and cut past Romain Métanire to get into a little open space at the top of the box. He then fired a shot to the right hand side of the night, just barely avoiding a late challenge Osvaldo Alonso to open up the scoring on the night.
Just 88 seconds later FCD would do it yet again. Ricardo Pepi had the ball on the side of the 18 but was fairly boxed in. Pepi sent the ball to Jesús Ferreira at the top of the six, which he then proceeded to score in the same side of the net as the first goal.
Minnesota United had one of their better chances come from long range when Gasper sent a screamer that Jimmy Maurer had to save, but it was MNUFC’s only real chance of the half. And speaking of stats they didn’t look great for the Loons. Minnesota is a team that seems to do their best work when they have around 40ish % possession during the match. And while they’ve had 46% tonight, nothing really was done with it during the first 45 minutes.
here's some stats, if you're into that... pic.twitter.com/8WaFSALKnq— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) August 30, 2020
In fact out of MNUFC’s six shots, Gasper’s screamer was the teams’ only shot on target the entire first half of play. Out of the six shots for Minnesota, one was on target, one was off target, and four of them were blocked. Two of the shots coming from such a distance I’m almost surprised they’re classified as shots.
Then after a rough first half for the Loons, lightning struck. Quite literally; the teams would actually end up coming out of the locker rooms at 9:10 for a 10 minute warmup and the game resuming at 9:20. That all being nearly an hour after half time began and 50 minutes after the lightning strike.
The extra time added to the half time break did a lot for MNUFC, as the team started the 2nd 45’ off with a huge amount of energy. A big part of that was absolutely the midfield and attacking subs that Heath sent out to begin the second half.
Just a few minutes in Ferreira would get the nights first card after trying to kick out Gasper after being slightly grabbed. Moments later Chase Gasper would be carded after an incident with again, Ferreira.
In the 55th minute, Heath’s four man subs paid off pretty fast. Hassani Dotson would go #BangersOnly to put the Loons back in the game.
Greg Ranjitsingh would also keep Minnesota United in the match with this beautiful save.
Thomás Chacón would be playing absolutely wonderful during the second half, going everywhere from the back to help the defense to breaking out on attack.
Really liking how Chacón is playing right now. Very deep on defense for #MNUFC. Breaks out on the counter attack, sets up a decent play inside the box. This kid needs to play more. I think I've heard someone argue that for a while. #FCDvMIN— E Pluribus Loonum (@EPluribusLoonum) August 30, 2020
In fact after Chacón was fouled MNUFC almost scored but would end up being called for offside on a play that ended with the ball in the back of the net. James Musa would also be Minnesota’s final sub coming in for Aja in the 81st minute. Shortly thereafter Michael Boxall would be shown a yellow card as well.
James Musa would be called for a late foul inside the box that gave Dallas a PK with little time remaining in stoppage time. FCD sent Captain Reto Ziegler to the sopt. Ziegler drove home the opportunity as the dagger to send MNUFC back home without any points.