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Recap: Two early goals give Minnesota their third win in five matches

A return to full capacity at Allianz Field on Pride Night ends with three points

June 23, 2021 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - The Wonderwall celebrates as Minnesota United defeated Austin FC by a score of 2-0 at Allianz Field. (Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)

Back in May, less than 8 weeks ago, Minnesota United headed down to the Lone Star State to face expansion side Austin FC. The Loons came back to the North Star State from that match with no points and a 1-0 loss.

In a midweek clash the two teams met for their rematch in Minnesota. A Pride Night match with the capacity of Allianz Field returning to 100% after nearly 19 months. The full house, the first since MNUFC’s MLS Cup Playoff loss to LA Galaxy on 20 October, 2019, would not be disappointed nor were they disappointing.

“I’ve always said we got we got a special atmosphere here and you saw it tonight. I thought the supporters were magnificent. And even in them moments when it’s two nil, but we’ve just lost a bit of momentum, and the opposition are having plenty of possession, then they started to up the sing it and, and started to get the players going again,” MNUFC manager Adrian Heath said about the crowd.

The Loons playing with three keys players out due to the UEFA Euro 2020 competition started early with showing the home crowd they meant business. Romain Métanire came down to the end line and sent a pass to Franco Fragapane near the penalty spot. Fragapane corralled the ball before sending a screamer into the next to give Minnesota their first goal of the night.

Fragapane would say at the end of the night,

“Truth is, I feel very good. I was able to score and the team was able to win, which is what we wanted.”

Just 8 minutes later Adrien Hunou would send a header into the back of the net off a set piece corner from Franco Fragapane.

Hunou would say about the goal and win post match,

“This is my first goal with the fans and it was a good atmosphere. And most important, the victory.”

The 2-0 victory gives the Loons Tyler Miller a clean sheet and now have them sitting 3-2-0 (W-D-L) with 11 points in their last five matches. Miller said after the match,

““Yeah, I think that we’ve been figuring out, kind of, as the season has gone on, obviously, we get off to a difficult start. In the last five games now, I think we’ve done tremendously. As we’ve continued to improve, I think we’ve seen a complete performance now from the defense to the offense, to the midfield and how everybody can contribute, and how we can get back to being that team that everybody had those expectations for. Not that we’re anywhere near where we should be or where we need to be but we’re exactly where we have to be right now in this moment and I think that everybody is doing a tremendous job to continue to push, week in, week out to get results every game”

Minnesota United will play their third match in a one week time frame on Saturday night against Portland Timbers. Due to high forecasted temperatures, as high as 106°F (41.1°C) with temps at the original kick off time at 102°F (38.89°C), the match will be moved from 9:30 PM CT (7:30 PM PT) to 10 PM CT (8 PM PT) kickoff time.