The team debut their new home field to a sellout crowd on Saturday
An exciting start ended with a lackluster result for Minnesota United FC, who fought to a 3-3 draw against New York City FC Saturday, April 13.
The game was much more than just the home opener, as it was the first game held at Allianz Field in St. Paul.
Built at a cost of $250 million, Allianz Field debuts as one of the premier venues in MLS. It also completed the transformation of Minnesota United, who was playing in the NASL just three years ago, before joining the MLS in 2017. The stadium opened to a sellout crowd of 19,796, although that number is bound to go up next year when an additional 5,000 seats are added to the stadium.
Energy was high early in the match from the home crowd, and the crowd was rewarded early.
After a few close calls with a score, Minnesota got on the board in the 13th minute with a strike from Osvaldo Alonso.
However, NYC answered responded quickly, as a Minnesota giveaway in the 16th minute led to a Valentin Castellanos goal.
Almost immediately afterward, the visitors took the lead as Ismael Tajouri-Shradi scored from the center of the box.
In the 20th minute, Minnesota would even it up as Angelo Rodriguez connected on a cross pass from Ethan Finlay.
Later, in the 32nd minute, a bizarre moment ended in an own-goal for NYC goalkeeper Sean Johnson. An NYC defender had decided to make a pass back to Johnson, who mishandled the ball and accidentally redirected it into his own net.
A long pass to Castellanos saw Minnesota goalkeeper Vito Mannone leave the box to challenge, only for Mannone to miss the ball and have Castellanos seemingly score in the 58th minute. However, upon video review, the goal was waved off after calling a handball on Castellanos.
Regardless, NYC would score the equalizer in the 64th minute, as Tajouri-Shradi scored his second goal of the match off a free kick.
Minnesota tried to find a final goal late in the game, but couldn’t muster any momentum late as they spent much of stoppage time on defense. As the final whistle blew, United fans would have to leave without the win as the match ended 3-3.
With the draw, Minnesota currently sits at sixth in the Western Conference, with 10 points in six matches. The squad will have a road match against Toronto FC on Friday, before returning to Allianz for a match against LA Galaxy on Wednesday, April 24.
Header photo courtesy of the Associated Press.