United Heads To Postseason After Draw With Scorpions In Season Finale

Each side found two goals in the second half in the draw
Minnesota United Staff | Oct 31, 2015

Photo Credit: Minnesota United

Minnesota United capped off its Fall Season with a 2-2 draw against the San Antonio Scorpions on Halloween night. After falling behind in the second half, United staged a dramatic comeback, finishing the game with a stoppage-time goal.  

"We started off with great tempo and lots of quality chances," United head coach Manny Lagos said. "It's tough to manage a game right before the playoffs, when they want to stay healthy and fit and avoid suspensions. We battled back after that mental lapse in the second half to get the tie against a team that played well tonight."

Minnesota took every inch of space that the Scorpions gave in the first half and used it to create lots of opportunities in front of goal. United midfielder Kalif Alhassan led the charge for his team in creating chances and taking them. His best chance in the first half saw him beat Scorpions goalkeeper Daniel Fernandes, but the ball bounced off the upright.

There were several close chances for the Loons, but deflections off Scorpions defenders and last-second grabs by Fernandes kept the match scoreless in the first half.

It was was a different story in the second half, with San Antonio controlling the play early on. It took advantage of a counterattack opportunity in the opening minutes of the half after Billy Forbes got behind the United defense. Forbes placed a pass, out of the reach of goalkeeper Sammy Ndjock, that found Giuseppe Gentile on the far post, who tapped home the empty net shot to put the Scorpions up 1-0.

The Loons struggled to answer through much of the half, but impressive defending kept them in the match.

United got on the board with 20 minutes remaining after earning a penalty kick when Daniel Mendes was taken down in the box. Substitute Pablo Campos took the kick for Minnesota, placing a low shot into the corner to tie the match.

The final minutes were a roller coaster of emotions for both teams. San Antonio got a penalty kick of its own after Kristopher Tyrpak was taken down from behind by Ndjock in front of goal. Ndjock guessed right on the kick and was able to get his hand to the ball but couldn't keep out the shot, and San Antonio took a late lead.

Rallying to try to save a point, Minnesota threw men forward in attack, nearly equalizing several times. Midfielder J.C. Banks poked a shot on goal at point-blank range, but Fernandes was able to make a miraculous stop.

As the match entered stoppage time, United's unbeaten run at home in the Fall Season seemed to be disappearing. A free kick outside the San Antonio penalty area gave the Loons a late chance as time was expiring. Alhassan placed his free kick near the far post as players rushed to the ball. Defender Kevin Venegas slid in to get his foot on the ball to knock it off of the goalkeeper and into the back of the net to tie the match at two goals each.

United tried to get a late-winning goal, but time ran out for a final chance.

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