D.C. United had plenty of the ball, but suffered a 1-0 defeat against Minnesota United FC today at Allianz Field. A hugely controversial first half VAR decision waved off a Donovan Pines goal, and the home side finally took charge of the game in the late stages, getting an 82nd minute goal on a cross that may or may not have been touched by Angelo Rodriguez.
The match began slowly. Within the first 15 minutes, D.C. and Minnesota both had spells of possession and attempted to execute dangerous opportunities, but neither could establish themselves as the frontrunners.
In the 21st minute, a corner initiated a goal-scoring opportunity for United. Wayne Rooney played short corner to Junior Moreno that Minnesota struggled to clear. Lucas Rodriguez lurked, forcing Vito Mannone into a great save, but in punching it out, Mannone enabled Rooney to cross the ball back into the box, and Donovan Pines soared above a crowd to score.
Celebrations were cut short for Pines, though, as referee Nima Saghafi disallowed the goal after watching VAR replays, with Saghafi claiming Frederic Brilliant’s arm stopped Mannone from getting to the ball.
United continued to look dangerous on set pieces, but from open play the game had little to offer in the first half. Bill Hamid didn’t have a save to make as Minnesota were held two long-range Jan Gregus efforts that were both blocked by defenders.
The 57th minute saw a rejuvenated Minnesota experience a sudden energy boost thanks to substitute Miguel Ibarra that flipped the game’s roles and force Hamid to a top save. Angelo Rodriguez held off Pines to dish the ball to Ibarra, whose strike pushed Hamid to save the day by getting a slight hand on the shot.
Ibarra’s shot initiated a dominant spell from the home side, upping the momentum on the pitch and leveling the match. D.C. were on the back foot for much of the final half-hour, but were still not giving away many chances. At the other end, a rare surge forward Luciano Acosta to break through and strike, but the ball was slightly over Mannone’s net. While the buildup was well executed for United, the visiting side failed to fully retrieve control after giving up their dominant edge mid-second half.
In the 82nd minute, Minnesota’s relentless pressure proved successful. Romain Metanire gained possession on the right, and crossed into the box to Angelo Rodriguez. Whether Rodriguez made contact or not, his attempt managed to get the ball past Pines and Hamid. Rodriguez sprinted to celebrate, claiming the goal and giving the Loon’s their first win at Allianz Field.
United will take a much-needed week back in the District, with their next game this coming Saturday at Audi Field against the Columbus Crew.
MLS Regular Season (Game 10)
Minnesota United FC 1 (Métanire 82)
D.C. United 0
MNUFC (433): Vito Mannone; Romain Métanire, Ike Opara, Brent Kallman, Eric Miller; Jan Gregus, Osvaldo Alonso, Rasmus Schüller; Abu Danladi (Hassani Dotson 85), Angelo Rodriguez (Ethan Finlay 90), Darwin Quintero (Miguel Ibarra 51)
DCU (3421): Bill Hamid; Frederic Brillant (Quincy Amarikwa 85), Donovan Pines, Steven Birnbaum; Leonardo Jara (Ulises Segura 46), Chris Durkin, Junior Moreno, Paul Arriola; Luciano Acosta, Lucas Rodriguez (Zoltan Stieber 78); Wayne Rooney (C)
MNUFC - Métanire 19
DCU - Birnbaum 45