After defeating the LA Galaxy in their midweek match and then losing to Los Angels Football Club last week, Columbus finally had a full week of training heading into Minnesota. With Columbus missing five strong pieces to their natural starting lineup, you could imagine head coach Caleb Porter would be happy with a point against a strong Minnesota United squad. Unfortunately, that did not happen as Columbus fell 1-0.
Columbus gained momentum in the first half, having a couple good quality attacks but couldn’t convert.
Darwin Quintero found the back of the net in the eighth minute for the Loons, but the goal was quickly disallowed due to being offside.
Remember the speed of Ethan Finlay when he was with Columbus? The Loons lucked out on him because he probably ran at least 20 mile per hour in a span of 30 seconds going from midfield to the attacking penalty area to play a great cross to Quintero, but the attempt was just shy of a shot on goal.
Minnesota controlled the game, almost capitalizing on every Crew turnover, but just couldn’t find the right buildup to get the first goal.
Columbus made a strong attempt when Robinho found Higuain waiting at the penalty spot, but the attempt was broken up by the Loons. United got another attempted goal with Quintero again, but was called back for offside, yet again, just before halftime.
Columbus saw the 0-0 scoreline through the first half as both teams exited for halftime.
Columbus seemed a little better in the second half, playing more aggressively, but that still didn’t stop Minnesota from taking advantage of the mistakes and bad passes of the Crew.
United was finally able to get the lead when former Black & Gold player Ethan Finlay, tapped in a set piece ball in front of the Wonderwall in the 71st minute. But you have to give the Minnesota native credit, as when the celebrations started when his team mobbed him, he refused to celebrate.
His tally would be the difference maker, seeing Columbus drop yet another match.
“We have to do better at getting shots off,” said Porter. Columbus was out shot tremendously with Minnesota getting 19 total shots, to Columbus’ four.
When asked about David Accam and his performance in his first start with the Black & Gold, Porter says that he “was lively on the day.” Accam then went on to say that it “wasn’t good enough,” despite getting into good positions and making good attacks.
This is a team that looks to be sticking with the same group for a while, given that many key pieces are absent and the offense needs to get going.
“Got to keep working. Got to keep improving, got to keep training.” Porter went on to mention, that the team needs to find their identity, and that is a major role with injuries and with Zack Steffen soon-to-be departing the club.
“We need to improve, no doubt about it. And we will improve.”
The way that Allianz Field is set up, it is no question that it’s a funny setup. The roof dips down heading towards the north end, which seems to allow more wind in than keeping it out. Not to mention when looking at the touchlines and end lines, there seems to be to different types of grass, although the stadium is new.
Columbus head back home for a week of training, then is on the road to face the Colorado Rapids, who sit at the bottom of the Western Conference. Kickoff is Saturday May, 25 at 8:00 pm ET.