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Recap | MNUFC - 1, RSL - 1

For those in attendance at Allianz Field, and those listening to the commentators on the telecast, one thing was for sure about Saturday night in Saint Paul: we had some beautiful weather. Really beautiful. Quite possibly, the most perfect weather ever. The third-largest crowd in Allianz Field history got to bask in the sun and welcome Real Salt Lake for MLS Matchday Week 15. With the Loons coming into the contest on a two-game winning streak in league play, the hope was that they could feed off that momentum and find a positive result against the pride of Utah.

Neither team looked particularly sharp coming out of the gates in the first half, with each having their own set of misplaced passes and sloppy ball handling. It didn’t take long for both clubs to work out the kinks, however. After some back-and-forth attacking efforts from both MNUFC and RSL, it would be the visitors who would make good on drawing first blood in the 28th minute, when Salt Lake midfielder Jefferson Savarino was able to fire off a laser that just snuck between goalkeeper Dayne St Clair‘s legs and in to the bottom right corner of the goal. 1-0, the other guys.

Hopefully nobody in the stadium decided to take their bathroom break after that one, because in the 31st minute, the Loons would answer back when South Africa’s finest export Bongokuhle Hlongwane ricocheted a powerful, right-footed boot from the right side of the six-yard box striking off the post and then off Real Salt Lake’s Justen Glad and into the net. Though the equalizer would not count as a goal for Hlongwane on the stat sheet, it was his speed and quick feet that got him close enough to make something good happen. Something he has continued to do for the Loons attack over the last few games.

The first half fireworks would give way to a second half of “oh-so-close“ opportunities for both Salt Lake and MNUFC. Hlongwane, Luis Amarilla, and Sang Bin Jeong had some quality looks on the goal, but were unable to take advantage of Real Salt Lake’s reserve goalkeeper Gavin Beavers, who was subbed in for Zac MacMath in the second half after he took a hard fall late in the first half. Not to be outdone, Loons keeper Dayne St Clair would hold his ground and grab some key saves in the closing minutes of the second half to keep RSL out of the goal, and help preserve the draw.

The Loons come away from a beautiful Saturday night at Allianz Field with one point in the Western Conference standings and another midweek matchup on the horizon, as they square off with Austin FC this Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. CT. Hopefully, they can keep building upon their current form and keep things headed in the alright, alright, alright direction.


Austin FC vs Minnesota United FC

Q2 Stadium | Austin, Texas

05.31.22 | MLS Game 15

7:30 pm CT (Watch on AppleTV’s MLS Season Pass)