An 81st-minute goal by Minnesota United ( 5-5-3 18 points) midfielder Robin Lod propelled the Loons to a 1-0 victory over the visiting Seattle Sounders ( 8-1-5, 29points) Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis. It was the Sounder’s first loss of the season and snapped a 13 game unbeaten streak to start the season.
GUNNING FOR A FAST START
Sunday’s meeting was the second time the clubs met this season with the Loons having suffered a 4-0 defeat at Lumen Field. That loss added salt to a wound left open after last year’s Western Conference Finals loss to the Sounders for MNUFC. To say the Loons were out for revenge is an understatement.
As expected the Loons came out looking for blood and as a result, had the majority of possession in the first half holding a 51 to 49 percent advantage. At one point Minnesota had a 62 to 38 percent advantage. The momentum swing was due to a tactical change by Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer. In the 23rd minute, Schmetzer had Freddy Montero and Jimmy Medrada switch places.
The move provided an outlet for the Sounders defensive line which was struggling with Minnesota’s high press. The move opened the offensive half of the Sounders attack. In fact, the Sounder’s attack was more goal dangerous compared to their counterparts. The Sounders recorded three shots on goal to the Loons zip.
While they did not have a shot on goal Minnesota knocked on the Sounders goal several times. The most opportunistic moment arrived via a set-piece.
The Sounder’s second half intentions were no secret. The Rave Green earned a corner kick within two minutes of the second half.
The tactical switch by Schmetzer was for the Sounders to place runners up the offensive half of the field and quickly get the ball to the slashing runner. The Sounders continued to press the issue and it looked as if it was just a matter of when not if they would score. Unfortunately for the Rave Green, the covetous eyes on a game-winning goal led to a game-defining lack of concentration by the backline.
During one of the few meaningful Minnesota possessions, Niko Hansen streaked down the right-wing and played a cross through the Sounders goal to the wide-open Lod. The Finnish midfielder slotted home the streak busting game-winner