Minnesota United came back home to Allianz Field for only the second time this season. This time to face a tough Real Salt Lake side that they had drawn 0-0 with back in the group stage of the MLS Is Back tournament in Orlando. The night would end favorably for the Loons on the back of a Robin Lod brace, a tight save by DSC, and a some help from a few flags.
MNUFC would line up in a 4-2-3-1 compared to the 4-3-3 they used against Houston on Wednesday night. While a few more players (Ethan Finlay and Luis Amarilla) were out compared to the listed amount the Loons did have 8 subs compared to 7 in their last match.
Dayne St. Clair would get the start over Greg Ranjitsingh, who started the last three matches since Tyler Miller had hip surgery. Aja, Alonso, Molino, and Reynoso would also gather starting spots for the night.
#MINvRSL https://t.co/nXGyrrrgMM pic.twitter.com/oqji0aMBrx— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) September 7, 2020
Issues almost started really early for Minnesota as Real Salt Lake nearly scored but DSC made an incredible if not super lucky save.
However bad luck did strike MNUFC not too long after with Ozzie leaving the pitch less than 20 minutes in.
s u b— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) September 7, 2020
Hassani IN@OzzieAlonso OUT pic.twitter.com/Ug3SOvjOSF
8 minutes after the sub Real Salt Lake nearly and in fact did strike gold at first. A shot coming off a set piece went past DSC for a goal but VAR took a look and called back the goal for offsides.
The first 45 minutes would leave the match at a nil-nil scoreline, which while not great, is far beyond better than the last four matches.
#MNUFC and #RSL deadlocked at nil-nil after 45'#MINvRSL pic.twitter.com/yxTqdjs7SZ— E Pluribus Loonum (@EPluribusLoonum) September 7, 2020
Second half would kick off with Real Salt Lake coming out with a lot more fire than Minnesota, almost causing panic in the opening minutes of the half. But not to fear as Chase Gasper was here to open the official scoring on the night for Minnesota. A nice through ball was sent by Kevin Molino into the box. Gasper fired on all cylinders chasing after it before blasting the shot into the net.
CHASE GASPER!@MNUFC jump ahead after some quality combination in midfield. #MINvRSL pic.twitter.com/MpvdSufiaU— Major League Soccer (@MLS) September 7, 2020
Next up would Robin Lod’s chance to shine. The Fin would make a beautiful run towards the goal and just slip a low shot past RSL keeper Zac MacMath to make it 2-0 Loons.
And shocked and persuaded my soul to ignite… pic.twitter.com/tWWWF87unt— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) September 7, 2020
After the second goal of the night MNUFC would send Jacori Hayes on to replace Mason Toye in the striker position in the 64th minute. The in the 72nd minute, immediately following a wicked curve of a shot from Reynoso, the Loons sent Raheem Edwards on to replace Bebelo in the 72nd minute.
But shortly after that second sub an amazing play and series of events happened to bring the Loons their third goal of the night. Molino brought the ball into the box and toyed with RSL keeper Zac MacMath a bit. After MacMath committed to Molino, he would back heel the ball to Raheem Edwards. Edwards then slipped the ball to Jacori Hayes in front of the goal to finish off the play for a third MNUFC goal.
Smh why you gotta disrespect your opponents like this... that’s not Minnesota Nicepic.twitter.com/TFVv0bsDLP— Coach Steve (@SteveBichler) September 7, 2020
That wasn’t all she wrote, not quite yet at least. Robin Lod would strike yet again to earn a brace and put MNUFC up 4-0.
Finnesota#MINvRSL | 4-0 | @RolliLod pic.twitter.com/bM4IlMFy1n— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) September 7, 2020
4-0 is how the match would end giving the Loons their first victory in over a month and the first points on home turf in 2020.