MINNEAPOLIS, MN (April 23, 2017) – Minnesota United FC got their first clean sheet in MLS history. They beat the Colorado Rapids on Sunday at TFC Bank Stadium 1-0. Miguel Ibarra scored the goal in the second half to seal the victory.
Rapids Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni had to make some changes with injuries and suspensions. Korten Ford and Bobby Burling started at center back. Zac MacMath was again in goal for Tim Howard. Mohammad Saeid started for the injured Bismark Boateng. Dillon Powers started in the No. 10 role in a 4-2-3-1 formation, but quickly switched places with Saeid.
Minnesota Head Coach Adrian Heath had his team in a 4-2-3-1. Francisco Calvo and Marc Burch started at the back. Sam Cronin started in a holding role. Johan Venegas, Kevin Molino, Christian Ramirez, and Miguel Ibarra started up top in the front four.
Minnesota United FC Clean Sheet Colorado Rapids 1-0 At Home
Both teams were very active in the first 15 minutes. Minnesota’s Ibson created a dangerous chance in the 10th minute with a header off a free kick from Molino. MacMath had some trouble coming off his line, but the ball was well wide.
The Rapids responded with a few chances. Mekeil Williams made a nice run into the box and found an open Saeid. The midfielder directed the ball on goal, but teammate Marlon Hairston was in the way. The ball was cleared out of danger incidentally. Later in the half, Doyle tried for a spectacular bicycle kick, but the ball bounced off his face and away from goal.
The match got a little chippy in the first half, with head official Fotis Bazakos giving two questionable yellow cards, one to Dominque Badji and Kevin Molino, respectively. The uneventful half ended 0-0.
The Loons nearly opened the scoring in the 54th minute. Molino got a shot off a counter attack at the top of the box. MacMath made a diving save but gave up a rebound. Ford rushed to clean up the play, barely beating Ramirez to the ball.
The match opened up after that play, with both sides trying to score the first goal. Badji nearly had the opening goal in the 61st minute. Hairston laid the ball off to an overlapping Eric Miller, who sent a cross right in front of goal. Badji botched the shot and sent it off the cross bar not five yards from goal.
United broke through in the 72nd minute. MacMath made a save on a shot that deflected off the post. It fell to Venegas who crossed the ball, and Ibarra headed it home to take the lead 1-0.
Colorado pushed forward to find an equalizer, bringing on Alan Gordon late. They were unable to create any real danger and the match ended 1-0.
This was a massive result for Minnesota United FC. They got their first clean sheet of the year and a win. For Colorado, this is their third loss in a row, and fourth in five. The offense has dried up, and various absences has hurt their defense. Mastroeni and company need to change something if they are to stop the bleeding next week at Orlando City SC.