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Notebook: Missed Chances cost MNUFC the match against LA Galaxy

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Minnesota United had plenty of chances for goals, but the failure to find the back of the net would end their chances at advancing in the playoffs.

October 20, 2019 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States- Robin Lod shoes his disappointment after missing shot during an Audi MLS Cup Playoff match between Minnesota United and The Los Angeles Galaxy at Allianz Field (Photo: Tim C McLaughlin)
October 20, 2019 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States- Robin Lod shoes his disappointment after missing shot during an Audi MLS Cup Playoff match between Minnesota United and The Los Angeles Galaxy at Allianz Field (Photo: Tim C McLaughlin)
Tim C McLaughlin

Minnesota United had opportunities yesterday to win their first MLS Playoff match, defeat LA Galaxy for the first time, and win their first overall playoff match since becoming MNUFC in 2012. Unfortunately for the Loons a pair of Galaxy goals in the 71st and 75th minutes we’re enough to stop all of those things from happening last night.

Now that’s not to say MNUFC didn’t have their chances and opportunities as they did, many many times. In terms of pure chances Minnesota had three missed ones but the Loons also had nearly a half dozen shots that should’ve gone in goal, including Robin Lod’s shot from 3 yards out that skied over the crossbar. Frustrating was a bit of an understatement for Adrian Heath post match when it came to not finishing however.

“Not just frustrating but before the game started, I think a lot of people would’ve thought that, that would’ve been a terrific half for us. I don’t think Vito hardly had a shot to save in the first half. Zlatan had one shot from 30 yards. We were talking about a team that’s been up there with the best in the league for probably 10 years and we dominated every aspect of the game in the first half apart from the one important one, scoring a goal.”

When asked about how he felt on the match and the chances they had Robin Lod expressed his disappointment, especially about not finishing his chance in the locker room post match.

“Yeah it feels bad of course. As you said we had great chances. Especially my chance, it’s one that there’s no excuse to not put the ball inside of the goal. It feels bad to let the team and the fans down in this moment. I think it we scored in the first half the game would’ve been much different and would be much easier for us. It was difficult for us today.”

Jan Gregus expressed disappointment on the end result of the match after out possessing the Galaxy throughout the entire 90 minutes.

“Yeah, like I said, in my mind, it’s still a game that we should win. We had much more ball possession than them, but they had a killer instinct in front of the goal when they needed it. They had two or three good opportunities second half when it was 0-0 still, and they didn’t score. And then, they, in 10 minutes, put two back. So, it’s kind of hard for us.”

It was Head Coah Adrian Heath’s opening statement in the press conference that really summed up the match though.

“Disappointed. We were the better team for large periods of the game. We had the best chances all evening and I can’t remember Vito [Mannone] having to do anything until maybe, the goal. The amount of times that we attacked down the right-hand side and we got good balls into the box. I can think of two or three clear-cut chances. As I said to you in the week, at this level it’s going to be really small margins and we didn’t have the quality at the end when we should have done so. Robin [Lod] has had a great chance first half. Angelo [Rodriguez] has had an unbelievable chance with the header and there were a couple really, really good opportunities when we didn’t pick anybody out with the final ball. Overall, I was pleased with our performance and pleased with the commitment. I couldn’t ask for anymore. We just came up short because we didn’t have the final ball, nearly all evening.”

That final ball played a crucial part in this match along with others during the season and Heath will look to improve that and all facets of their game heading into the 2020 season as he stated in the press conference.

“We have to get better. We have to bring quality in. We did last year and we have to do the same again. If we do, this group will be a match for anybody. But, we can’t stand still, not in this league, not in the Western Conference because trust me, if we stand still, we lean backwards. We have to bring quality players in and that will make some big decisions. We have some big decisions to make over the next few weeks before we decide what we do.”