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Notebook: Loons overcome first half struggles to take first ever win in Portland

A first half completely dominated by the Timbers couldn’t stop Minnesota from stealing the spotlight in the weekends final match.

MLS: Minnesota United FC at Portland Timbers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Last night Minnesota United struggled to find their footing for the first 15 minutes and really were outclassed by Portland Timbers the entire first half. The Loons would come up with the nights first goal before letting Portland score and having to come back from that.

When asked about the comeback from Portland’s match tying goal Head Coach Adrian Heath stated.

“The shape was really good all night you know, they got really quality players, they spent an awful lot of money putting together this group of players together, Portland. So we knew we were going to have to withstand 10-15 at a time of defending in our box and when we did, when we needed it, Boxy [Michael Boxall], Ike [Opara], Romain [Metanire] and Chase [Gaspar], they stood up and I thought we were worthy winners in the end actually.”

Ethan Finlay who was instrumental in Kevin Molino’s second goal was optimistic when talking about the teams performance.

“Great team win tonight. We were able to weather the storm the first 15 minutes, settle down I think and we knew what this game was going to be about. It’s early in the season, things aren’t always the prettiest sometimes and I think we had some sloppy moments maybe in the first half and then we kind of figured it out and started to really settle in and really took advantage on the counter-attack and we’re very clinical so really happy with the start from all phases.”

Kevin Molino, who had a brace in the season opener, made known that Portland played a tough first half that didn’t help the Loons.

“After a difficult first half, all credit to them, I think we fought hard and stuck together as a team. You know Portland is a very good team at home, they have a lot of quality, the fans get involved in the game and of course [it was] difficult the first 15 minutes but we weathered the storm and we got a goal and we rallied together as a team.”

The 2020 season opener was the first time that MNUFC has won at Providence Park in Portland, OR and heading into next weekends match against San Jose, Heath was elated at the result.

“I think it is, is it? Just as I said, I’m pleased for about, what do you have, a couple of hundred people up in the corner there of Minnesota fans so it was great to give them something to cheer. I thank them for the support and now we dust ourselves down, go again on Monday and let’s see where we are next week at San Jose.”