Loons wither late in 2-0 loss to first-place Los Angeles FC – Twin Cities

As the second half between Minnesota United and Los Angeles FC progressed, it built and developed towards LAFC’s goals at Banc of California Stadium.

The breakthrough came from Ryan Hollingshead’s volley from a set piece in the 82nd minute and Jose Cinfuentes added an insurance goal in the 90th for a 2-0 win.

While the Loons (4-3-2) hadn’t allowed a goal in the final 30 minutes of a game this season before Sunday, LAFC (7-1-1) were threatening throughout the final half hour . They scored two.

The Loons’ shutout streak ended 217 minutes since their defensive breakdown led Diego Rubio to score before halftime in a 3-1 win over Colorado on April 16.

LAFC reclaimed the top spot in the Western Conference. MNUFC had its five-game unbeaten streak against LAFC, a streak that began in July 2018.

Minnesota’s best chance came in the 43rd and 48th minutes from Robin Lod. Emanuel Reynoso sent a feathery pass to Robin Lod, which knocked him down and targeted the Loons who only shot on target. But Maxime Crepeau made a comfortable save just before halftime.

Abu Danladi’s pass went to Lod early in the second half, but Lod’s shot went high.

Manager Adrian Heath made two elective changes to his four forwards after that quartet, a mix of two subs and a repositioning produced five goals in the latter stages of the last two wins.

Lod went from winger to forward, with Danladi and Bongi Hlongwane entering the starting XI as Luis Amarilla and Franco Fragapane fell to the bench. Emanuel Reynoso retained his position as central attacking midfielder.

The Loons’ first-choice quartet – Amarilla up front, with Fragapane, Reynoso and Lod below – have scored three goals in 352 minutes together in seven games. Five of those games were interrupted with Fragapane struggling with a hamstring injury, one of which he missed completely.

Fragapane and Amarilla came on as substitutes in the 65th minute, Danladi and Hlongwane coming off.

That top-four lull added 25 more minutes on Sunday.

Minnesota started their pair of Hondurans in midfield – Joseph Rosales and Kervin Arriaga – with captain Wil Trapp suspended due to a card accumulation.

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