MLS is Back Group D: Minnesota United come alive late, beat SKC 2-1

MLS is Back

Orlando – Group D action for the MLS is Back tournament kicked off Sunday night. Sporting KC were running hot for the first 60 minutes of the game, but Minnesota United came to life over the final 30 and ended up winning late, thanks in large part to a straight red card to Tim Melia right before the break. Kevin Molino got the winner.

MLS Is Back: Loons score two in stoppage time to beat SKC

There was a lot made out before the match when Sporting KC had a confirmed positive test for COVID-19 on Friday morning. But, the game went on regardless. It didn’t seem to have too much of an effect on the match, as both teams came out with a high physical intensity. Sporting KC sustained that the most through the start, and took a 1-0 lead on a wonderful play from Alan Pulido. Shelton faked out Tyler miller inside the box and was able to slot home easily while Miller scrambled to recover. But Tim Melia’s red card turned the tide.

Melia was sent off for DOGSO in the 74th minute. From then on, Minnesota United really forced the issue. After having a goal called off just 5-10 minutes earlier than the red card, Minnesota United waited until stoppage time to start their climb back. A free kick into the box from Gregus was whiffed on by all the loons, but ricocheted off Shelton and Matt Besler and in for an own goal. Kevin Molino snagged the winner off a deflected shot crept past Richard Sanchez.

For Minnesota United…

The Loons likely won’t be able to get away with their lackadaisical start again. Sporting KC are normally more ruthless in front of goal, and probably should’ve had 3-4 goals. They didn’t and it left Minnesota with a lot more room to get back into the game. The added stoppage time certainly helped their ability to get the second goal. Gregus and Molino were the few bright spots, and Jose Aja wasn’t terrible in replacing Ike Opara.

 

For Sporting KC…

Sporting will be looking to do better in front of goal. Shelton’s goal was certainly deserved, but they had at least two more chances that should’ve resulted in goals. You can chalk it up to a lack of preparation and the long layoff, but they should’ve been goals. At times, Gerso and Kinda were moving too fast for their own good, and it cost them in the end. They have to be better in front of goal to advance at this rate.

Sporting KC will face off against the Colorado Rapids on Friday June 17th at 8pm EST. Minnesota will play RSL after that match, with kickoff slated for 10:30pm EST.

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