Minnesota United FC 1-1 Tampa Bay Rowdies
BLAINE, Minn. (Aug. 17, 2013) - Minnesota United controlled the game and had the better scoring chances, but it was a stoppage-time equalizer from the Rowdies Andres Arango that spoiled the win and the night for the home fans at National Sports Center in Blaine, Minnesota.
Minnesota United looked to earn their first win at NSC Stadium, and appeared to have done it, but for a late equalizer from a last ditch corner from the Rowdies. “When you’re at home you can’t let the other team put the ball in the net at the end of the game like that. The fans come to all the games and they deserved better than that.” offered United goalscorer, Pablo Campos.
Campos gave United the lead in the 17th minute after a smartly taken quick free kick from midfielder Michael Reed, who fed the ball to Max Griffin on the wing who neatly slotted in Campos for the point-blank finish. United continued to control play in the midfield, thanks in large part to the strong play of Calum Mallace and Sinisa Ubiparipovic – each doing their part to maintain possession and make things difficult for the Rowdies in the middle third.
Strong defensive play from United captain, Aaron Pitchkolan kept the backline strong. The 6’2″ Pitchkolan won many of the aerial battles, keeping the Rowdies to play from the wings. Connor Tobin and Justin Davis secured the defensive line, while Kevin Venegas found himself in the attacking third on several occasions thanks to jaunts up the sidelines.
Minnesota had their opportunities to double the lead in the second half, Campos and Griffin each with chances to put the game out of reach, but last weeks Player of the Week, Diego Restrepo, constantly found himself in the right place at the right time. “We’ve got three or four capable strikers so we changed to a 4-3-3 formation,” said Rowdies head coach Ricky Hill. “This change left us open at the back, where we had to rely on Diego (Restrepo) to make some great saves. That gave us an opportunity to equalize in the last minute. I have to give credit to my players for fighting hard until the last minute and I can’t grumble about taking a point.”
In the end while not a loss, it felt like a disappointing result for the United faithful and players, ”It’s a tough one for us to walk off the field with only a point, explained United coach, Manny Lagos, “but there were some positives. It’s a crazy game that you can play well and not win. We’ll have to play well next week to put things right. It’s a shame that we couldn’t see the game out because the public deserved that. It was a frustrating end.”
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