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Loons wilt late in a 2-0 loss to first-place Los Angeles FC

MNUFC had its five-game unbeaten streak versus LAFC end, a run that started in July 2018

MLS: Minnesota United FC at Los Angeles FC
Los Angeles FC midfielder Kellyn Acosta (23) and Minnesota United forward Bongokuhle Hlongwane (21) fight for possession during the second half on Sunday at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports
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As the second half between Minnesota United and Los Angeles FC wore on, it was building and building toward LAFC goals at Banc of California Stadium.

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

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

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

LAFC went back into first place in the Western Conference. MNUFC had its five-game unbeaten streak versus LAFC end, a run that started in July 2018.

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

Abu Danladi’s pass went to Lod at the start of the second half, but Lod’s shot went high.

Manager Adrian Heath made two elective changes to his front four attackers after that foursome, a mix of twos subs and one repositioning produced produce five goals in the latter stages of the last two wins.

Lod moved from winger to striker, with Danladi and Bongi Hlongwane coming into the starting XI as Luis Amarilla and Franco Fragapane dropped to the bench. Reynoso kept his place as the central attacking midfielder.

The Loons’ first-choice foursome — Amarilla up top, with Fragapane, Reynoso and Lod underneath — scored three goals in 352 minutes together across seven games. Five of those games were interrupted with Fragapane dealing with a hamstring injury, including one he missed entirely.

Fragapane and Amarilla subbed on in the 65th minute, with Danladi and Hlongwane coming out.

That front-four lull added 25 more minutes Sunday.

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

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Related Topics: SOCCERMINNESOTA LOONS
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