With renewed defense and Darwin's talent, the Loons defeat Vancouver
Minnesota United managed to win their first away game, and first game of the 2019 Loons season with a convincing victory. It’s been almost a year since a road win; a 3-2 scorcher over the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Darwin Quintero, Francisco Calvo and Romao Ibarra scored to help Minnesota United defeat the Whitecaps.
Minnesota United’s newest addition, goalkeeper Vito Mannone started his first MLS game. Despite having missed a part of the time earlier in the week to solve visa problems, Francisco Calvo kept the captain's armband starting on the left side on the defensive end. Michael Boxall and newcomer Ike Opara anchored the back line, and rookie Romain Metanire held the right flank. The new midfield of the Loons was formed by Ján Greguš and Ozzie Alonso who offered containment and were behind an attack of three conformed players, Rasmus Schuller, Darwin Quintero and Miguel Ibarra. Romario Ibarra crowned the formation as a front center.
To begin with, Defender Erik Godoy gave the advantage to Vancouver in the sixth minute that provoked a bit of anxiety for Minnesota United and its defensive line, but those anxious moments soon conceded as the Loons found a way to control and counter attack to avoid a catastrophe in the first game of the season.
Quintero tied the match in the 37th minute, connecting a penalty when Jakob Nerwinzki committed a foul in the box area (against F. Calvo). Quintero Jr. easily executed a blistering shot in the right corner of the net, despite the spectacular flight and effort of Vancouver goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau.
Minnesota took the lead in the 66th minute when defender Francisco Calvo topped matters with a header with a precision pass from Darwin Quintero Jr., to which defeated Whitecaps goalkeeper Crepeau. And a few minutes later, Romania Ibarra doubled the advantage of the Loons with some work in recovering the ball by Quintero in the 70th minute. The striker of the Whitecaps Doneil Henry made things very interesting by putting his team back on the scoreboard in the 81st minute to make things even more interesting.
After Minnesota United’s triumphant victory Coach Adrian Heath said: "Not having lost this game is very important to us today, because I know we would have been questioned a lot if we had lost. If we had been defeated in this first meeting of the season and after the first goal against, I know there would have been a few people in Minnesota saying, ' Oh, here we go again.’ “But no: this is not where we go again. This is not the same group we've had before. We're stronger mentally and physically. "
Minnesota United’s next game is Saturday, March 9 in San Jose, when the Loons head to the west Coast to face the Earthquakes. Game starts at 7:00 pm CST.