Minnesota United fends off furious late rally to top Real Salt Lake 3-2
The Minnesota United game against Real Salt Lake on Saturday took 51 minutes until the drama ensued.
And then in the span of a minute, the Loons had scored, and Salt Lake coach Mike Petke stalked back to the locker room.
In front of an announced crowd of 23,667 at TCF Bank Stadium, United defeated Salt Lake 3-2 to start off a three-game homestand in nine days with three points. The Loons improved to 7-11-1 but still sit in ninth place of the Western conference behind Salt Lake in fourth at 9-9-2.
After no goals in the first half, the Loons only needed six minutes after halftime to break the deadlock. Playmaker Darwin Quintero passed the ball back to midfielder Ibson at the top of the box, who tapped the ball home.
However, Quintero took on Salt Lake defender Justen Glad on his way into the box, and Glad fell down from the contact. Petke was incensed on the sideline that the referees didnt fully review the incident and kicked his teams bench. That earned him an ejection and a long walk back down the tunnel.
Then in the 62nd minute, Quintero scored a goal of his own. He received the ball from center back Francisco Calvo and did what hes becoming known for: chipping the ball over goalkeeper Nick Rimando, who was off his line.
Quintero wasnt quite done with setting up plays, though, as he then lined up a pass for winger Miguel Ibarra to send home.
But set pieces continued to plague United, as it allowed Salt Lake a goal from a free kick in the 77th minute. Calvo conceded the foul right at the center top of the box with a high kick on Salt Lake forward Jefferson Savarino. Forward Joao Plata stepped up to take it, having a quick give-and-go with midfielder Albert Rusnak. But United midfielder Collin Martin came out of the wall to try to block the kick, which ended up opening the hole that Plata sent the ball through and past Loons goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth.
Plata again put his team back in the game in the 85th minute, heading the ball past Shuttleworth after forward Brooks Lennons cross. It was similar to the Loons most recent home game July 4 against Toronto, when United let a 4-1 lead slip in the last 20 minutes, allowing two goals.
United earned its first victory in MLS back in April 2017 against Salt Lake at TCF Bank Stadium. Rimando let in four goals that game. The Loons play again 7 p.m. Wednesday at TCF Bank Stadium against the New England Revolution.