Stoppage time goals lead to 2-1 win over SKC
A pair of last-minute goals from the Loons made up for the last four months without Major League Soccer. Despite Sporting Kansas City (SKC) controlling most of the game and first half, Minnesota United came from behind to beat SKC after an own goal from Salt Lake’s Khiry Shelton and a 97th minute game-winning goal from Minnesota’s #10 Kevin Molino.
SKC was up 1-0 at the end of the first 45 minutes and after a terrible judgment call by MNUFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller that left the inside post as wide open as it could be, leading to the opening goal. However, as SKC grew tired and weary, MNUFC grew into the game, and after SKC goalkeeper Tim Melia was sent off with a red card in the 75th minute, the Loons scored twice in stoppage time to bring home all three points.
“That changed the game, we felt like we were in control for the most part, but we weren’t able to put the game away, and we left the door open for something like that to happen,” SKC defender Matt Besler said regarding the red card given. “That’s on us that we weren’t able to put the game away and we have to move on and get better from it.”
Minnesota United Striker Luis Amarilla, who’s on loan from Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield, may not get to the 20 goals he promised Loons fans earlier in the season.
The former Paraguayan international who’s scored twice in two matches, suffered a warm up injury shortly before United’s MLS is Back Tournament Opener.
“He tweaked his abductor before the game, just at the end of the warm up,” coach Adrian Heath said in his press conference. “I think we’ll have a better idea in 24 hours when he’s slept on it to see if it’s going to be a few days or a few weeks. I can’t answer you at this moment in time about Luis long term.”
Amarilla, was replaced by forward Mason Toye ahead of the match who later was substituted off due to injury as well. Toye was replaced by hold-up attacker Aaron Schoenfield who should be already getting starter minutes.
The quality of depth in the roster continues to be a bit of concern for MNUFC. Holding midfielder Ozzie Alonso didn’t make the matchday roster either, while center back Ike Opara withdrew ahead of the tournament to rehab from a preexisting condition.
In the 92nd minute, a free kick by Jan Gregus was placed right outside the box curling over the waiting head of Schoenfeld and ricocheted into the goal off the chest of Khiry Shelton who scored SKC’s first goal, ironically leveling the game at 1-1. A pair of speedy wingers was all Minnesota United needed to score its 97th minute and game-winning goal after Metanire’s cross from the right side found substitute Raheem Edwards who volleyed it to Molino for the tap in goal that gave Minnesota United the 2-1 win at death.
Despite only having nine shots and controlling the ball only 37% of the time, Kevin Molino was announced Bell Bank’s Man of the Match with his winning goal. Up next, Minnesota will play Real Salt Lake in game No.2 of the group stage on July 17 at 9:30 p.m. CT, exclusively on ESPN.