On a rainy and cold Saturday evening, host Minnesota United FC is holding the league leaders New York Cosmos to a scoreless draw after the first 45 minutes at NSC Stadium in Blaine, Minn.
The Cosmos forward Sebastian Guenzatti fired a chance from the left corner of the 18-yard box in the ninth minute, that skidded wide of the outstretched goalkeeper Matt VanOekel.
United midfielder Miguel Ibarra flashed a dangerous ball across the Cosmos' goal mouth in the 12th minute but no one from the United strike force was able to get on the end of it and is dashed wide.
In the 24th minute defender Carlos Mendes latched onto a free kick from midfielder Marcos Senna free kick at the far post, but the his header was off the mark.
Minnesota, nearly jumped in front in the 37th minute, but midfielder Aaron Pitchkolan headed the ball over the bar from eight yards out following a corner kick.
Cosmos' Guenzatti managed a dipping volley in injury time that dangerously cleared the crossbar by inches, leaving each side level at 0-0.
“The field is wet so the game is too fast so we are struggling a bit to get the possession we’d like,” said United coach Manny Lagos at halftime. “Anyhow, it is affecting both teams so hopefully in the second half it can settle down and play good soccer.”
Giovanni Savarese also commented at the end of the first 45 minutes: “This a good team, especially when they play at home. They stretched us out a little bit and we had some difficulties but afterwards we were able to level the game and find good possession towards the rest of the half.”
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|Minnesota United FC||12||4||2||6||-5||14|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||12||2||2||8||-14||8|