A Second Half Collapse Costs Loons Three Points and Hurts Playoff Chances

Minnesota United headed into Wednesday night’s clash looking to rebound on a series not-so favourable results in the past few matches. LA Galaxy were looking to rebound from a devastating loss to rival LAFC over the weekend. Through 45 minutes the match looked entirely in the favour of MNUFC, as the Loons held a 3-1 advantage heading into the break. The second half. That half turned entirely on it’s head in favour of the Galaxy as the hosts, helped by a sending off for Minnesota, scored three unanswered second half goals to blow past the Loons and win 4-3.

With the loss to Sporting KC in the rear-view mirror, Adrian Heath made a few changes to the Loons Starting XI. After being out over the weekend due to illness, Wil Trapp returned to the lineup in the defensive midfield. Hassani Dotson moved from defensive mid to left wing, replacing Franco Fragapane. The left side of the back line was swapped with Joseph Rosales and Miguel Tapias replacing Ethan Bristow and Bakaye Dibassy.

After holding out 84 minutes against Sporting KC on Saturday, the Minnesota defence conceded the opening goal just 16 minutes in when Billy Sharp scored the first of what would be three goals.

The LA lead did not hold for very long as just three minutes later, Teemu Pukki scored on a wonderful strike off the underside of the crossbar to draw the match level at one all.

Following the Pukki goal, Minnesota’s struggles with discipline started as the Loons were issued three yellow cards in just three minutes on a night that would end in 17 fouls, 4 yellows, and a sending off. Discipline issued aside the Loons added a second goal, this one coming from Bongokuhle Hlongwane.

Hlongwane added his second goal of the night and another brace on the season with an easy first half stoppage time goal.

Heading into the second half with a 3-1 lead, Minnesota did sub off Emanuel Reynoso due to a thigh strain, bringing on Ismael Tajouri-Shradi to replace him. This was MNUFC’s second substitute as the Loons brought on Ethan Bristow to replace Joseph Rosales in the first half.

LA Galaxy came into the second half firing on all cylinders and dominating the match. The hosts finally got their reward on a second goal from Billy Sharp, cutting Minnesota’s lead to one goal.

Eight minutes after getting himself a brace, Billy Sharp earned himself a hat trick and tied the match for LA Galaxy on a shot directly in front of goal.

Three minutes later, in the 74th minute, Ethan Bristow was issued a second yellow card and sent off. “It was a stupid decision. You know you’re booked, said Adrian Heath. “If you do that [tug on Tyler Boyd’s jersey], you’re going to get another yellow card so that’s a stupid decision.”

Less than 10 minutes after the Loons went down a player, LA scored what would be the match winner. Diego Fagundez made a well timed run into the 18 to meet up with a low cross that he one times into goal, by getting just under Dayne St. Clair’s outstretched body. “When you are down to ten men it can get difficult when you are being dragged out of position,” Adrian Heath said. They [Los Angeles Galaxy] were putting runners in between our centerbacks and fullbacks and when it goes wide we have to defend the cross better than we did. Ultimately, we have as many men as them in the box. You’ve got to mark your man. Stop him from getting to the ball first. It’s rule “a-b-c”, it’s rule one.”


With the loss to the LA Galaxy, the Loons drop into 10th place and below the playoff line in the Western Conference. Minnesota sits one point back from FC Dallas who occupy 9th place with 38 points. Minnesota United has five regular season matches remaining and will host St. Louis City on Saturday, September 23rd in their next match. Their only previous meeting saw MNUFC defeat St. Louis City SC 1-0 at CITYPARK back in April.