With a loss to Colorado on Wednesday night, Minnesota United’s seven-game unbeaten streak came to an end Wednesday night after last Saturday’s draw with San Jose.
That night, it only took San Jose 15 minutes to find the back of the net and lead the game 1-0. In the 26th minute, Michael Boxall pulled up lame, but stayed on the field until the 29th minute, when defender Brent Kallman came in. Towards the end of the first half, Emanuel Reynoso’s corner kick found Franco Fragapane, who bicycle kicked it into Kallman’s chest. Kallman followed the ball and ripped a left-footed shot to the far post, making the score 1-1 at the half.
As the second half began, defender DJ Taylor came in off the bench to sub in for Jukka Raitala and Ramón Ábila came in for Niko Hansen. The Loons kept battling until the 65th minute when defender Chase Gasper was fouled in the box. The referee had to look at the video review before awarding a penalty kick to Minnesota. Ábila stepped up and aimed his shot to the lower right corner. Goalkeeper Marcinkowski stopped it, but left the rebound in front of him and Ábila pounced on it and chipped it over him to make it 2-1.
“We had three or four great chances to totally finish the game off. It would have gone to 3-1. The game would have been closed out. So, hey, you have to take chances when they come along. That’s, you know, it’s the oldest saying in football. Goals change games,” said Head Coach Adrian Health. “Franco [Fragapane] had two great chances in the first one, five minutes, second half. So, we’ve had lots of opportunities this evening. But, closing games out, you know, at one stage in the first half after 25 minutes I didn’t think we were going to be in the game. The way we played. But we got a response out of them. It’s seven games undefeated now. And as I said, if we didn’t go to Portland and get a point last week, then, today, would have said that’s a great little return. Sometimes it goes the other way around.”
The biggest highlight of this match was what happened afterwards, as midfielder Hassani Dotson asked the biggest question of his life to his now-fiancée Petra.
“It’s incredible,” said defender Chase Gasper. “His fiancée Petra is amazing. She visits all of the time so we are so happy for him he’s such a great guy. Knowing Hassani [Dotson], you knew this was going to come eventually but sooner rather than later so we are all just so happy for him, what a great moment, and to do it in front of the Minnesota United fans was so cool. We all thought it was a great idea. Great guy, great girl, everyone is really happy for both of them.”
As Wednesday rolled around, the Loons traveled to the Rocky Mountains to take on the Colorado Rapids. As kick off began, it was clear that Colorado had a plan to play the ball to the right side of the field to get crosses in on the Loons. Luckily, Minnesota defenders were getting their foot and head to the ball before the Rapids. It wasn’t until the 45th minute that Colorado got one past Tyler Miller to lead 1-0 at the half. As the second half began, Minnesota began the half with more energy than the first, but still couldn’t create as many or finish their opportunities. Colorado, on the other hand, were creating plays and racked up another goal in the 81st minute, making the final score 2-0.
“I don’t think we started bad. At all,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “I thought we finished bad. We didn’t start bad. We ended bad. Didn’t have enough threat going forward. All evening.”
With the unbeaten streak coming to an end, the Loons are seeking to begin a new one. It’s not going to be simple, as the next game is on Sunday, July 18 against Seattle Sounders, but it’s also a goal that’s attainable.