Minnesota United FC leads FC Edmonton 1-0 at halftime through a Simone Bracalello penalty in the first of three NASL games being played today.
“I thought we ended the first half strongly and certainly livened up after the PK,” said Minnesota coach Manny Lagos. “We’re going to have to get better on both sides of the ball and make sure we stay organized.”
Daryl Fordyce was presented with a clear opportunity to steal a lead for Edmonton after only two minutes as he breached a flat home back four, but saw his low finish saved by the legs of a sprawling Daryl Sattler.
On the half hour mark, Minnesota, who were held to a 0-0 draw on opening weekend by the San Antonio Scorpions, scored their first goal of the 2013 season.
FC Edmonton midfielder Neil Hlavaty was judged to have committed an infraction as his side defended a corner kick, and the hosts were awarded a penalty that was hotly disputed by the Canadians. Simone Bracalello stepped up and drilled the resulting spot kick inside the right post of lance Parker, who had guessed and dived the right way but could not cope with the pace of the finish.
“We’ve worked very hard as a unit and the guys are well drilled and if they don’t have the penalty decision then for me, they don’t even look like scoring in the first half,” said Eddies coach Colin Miller.
“I felt we were robbed and it was as poor penalty decision just like it was a poor free kick decision in Carolina last week. I might get in trouble with saying that but its how I feel about that.”
Bracalello then turned provider after 34 minutes with a cross from the right that Max Griffin met with a diving header directed just wide of the target.
United FC is without the injured Etienne Barbara and suspended Pablo Campos, opening the door for Max Griffin to make his Minnesota debut as a lone striker in front of Bracalello.
MINNESOTA XI (4-2-3-1): GK Sattler, LB Davis, CB Tobin, CB Altman (c), RB Kallman, CDM Reed, CDM Pitchkolan, LW Rodriguez, CF Bracalello, RW Ibarra, ST Max Griffin
MINNESOTA BENCH: GK VanOekel, D Dias, D Friedland, M Arguez, M Takada, M Venegas, F Wall
EDMONTON XI (4-4-2): GK Parker; D Laing, LeRoy, Mitchell, Edward; M Garrett, Hlavaty, Saiko, Knight; F Cox, Fordyce
EDMONTON BENCH: GK Smits, D Rago, M Mirabelli, M Nurse, F Jalali
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