In its third and final international friendly of 2019, Minnesota United welcomed Liga MX side C.F. Pachuca to the confines of Allianz Field. In what was a hotly contested game, the two sides played to a 2-2 draw as the Loons scored once on each side of the half. The Minnesota United faithful were treated to a sensational free kick from Wilfried Moimbé-Tahrat, a composed finished from second-half substitute Abu Danladi and a full 90 minutes from young Designated Player Thomas Chacon.
“I thought there was a lot of good performances,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “Nobody was outstanding, but everyone did the job that I was asking of them. Thought the two centerbacks did well against good movement. Great goal from Wilf [Moimbé-Tahrat], first one. And then Abu [Danladi]'s took it well. Sometimes when you have that much time you overthink it, which he didn't. Took his time and put it in the bottom corner. As I say, it's been a good evening's work. Great turnout. I'd like to thank the fans for them turning out tonight.”
In a first half that was played at a slow tempo – compared to a fiery second 45 minutes – MNUFC and Pachuca looked as if they would head into the break deadlocked at 0-0. Determined to flip the script, Moimbé-Tahrat and Thomás Chacón stood over a free kick from almost 25 yards out in the 44th minute. Although Chacón had taken all the set pieces in the first half, this time Moimbé-Tahrat stepped up and curled a lovely left-footed shot into the top corner of the net. While it may have taken many by surprise, admirers of Moimbé-Tahrat will have previously seen some of the stunning goals he scored throughout his time in France.
The second half provided a crowded Allianz Field with fouls, controversy and a heightened level of passion that many have become accustomed to. After Pachuca took a 2-1 lead in the 62nd minute, the Loons were determined to respond with authority. In the 71st minute, Thomas Chacón – who looked full of energy and creative play in his first full 90 minutes for MNUFC – made a bursting run into the Pachuca penalty area only to be brought down for a penalty kick. Chacón was determined to take the penalty that he had created but to his dismay, he was denied from the spot by Pachuca’s goalkeeper Alfonso Blanco.
Minutes later, Chacon made up for his missed penalty as he made a hard tackle on a Pachuca defender in Minnesota’s attacking third which sent an unmarked Abu Danladi in on goal. Furious with the referee not awarding a foul, the Pachuca defenders switched off and Abu Danladi was able to calmly slot past Alfonso Blanco to tie the game. After multiple yellow cards and a red card were shown in the closing stages of the game, the dust settled and the score held at 2-2 in what was an exciting international friendly.
“I thought it was a really good game for a friendly game,” said Heath. “Most Mexican teams take them seriously when they come, put probably the strongest lineup that they could with the players that were away on international duty. I was really pleased with a lot of stuff I saw.”
The Loons are back in MLS action this Wednesday, September 11th as they take on the Houston Dynamo for the third time in 2019. Kickoff for that game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT with pregame coverage beginning at 7:00 p.m. on FOX Sports North+, streaming on FOX Sports GO and on MNUFC Radio on SKOR North.
Minnesota United FC Starting XI: GK Dayne St. Clair; D Carter Manley, Wyatt Omsberg, Brent Kallman, Wilfried Moimbe-Tahrat (Chase Gasper 60’); M Lawrence Olum, Collin Martin, Ethan Finlay, Miguel Ibarra, Thomas Chacón; F Angelo Rodriguez (Abu Danladi 60’)
MIN Unused Subs: GK Vito Mannone; D Ike Opara, Romain Metanire, Michael Boxall
CF Pachuca Starting XI: GK Alfonso Blanco; D Raul Lopez, Stiven Barreiro, Miguel Tapias, Victor Mora (Rubens Sambueza 46’); M Jorge Hernandez (Rubens Sambueza 60’), Pablo Lopez, Jonathan Copete (Edwin Hernandez 46’), Edwin Cardona, Luis Chavez; F Franco Jara
PAC Unused Subs: GK Rodrigo Rey; D Gustavo Cabral; M Victor Guzman, Horace Torres
44’ – Moimbe-Tahrat – MIN
62’ – Chavez (E. Hernandez) – PAC
68’ – Jara (Sambueza) – PAC
78’ – Danladi – MIN
36’ – Manley (YC) – MIN
51’ – Chavez (YC) – PAC
79’ – Blanco (YC) – PAC
88’ – Cardona (RC) – PAC
90’ – Danladi (YC) – MIN