Ethan Finlay — Minnesota United FC — Dissapointment

Minnesota United may not have had ideal preparation, with only two training sessions following multiple COVID-19 cases within the club, but they were still far from happy with letting a two-goal lead slip in a 2-2 draw at home to the Houston Dynamo on Sunday night.

“We expect to win these games and anytime you’re up 2-0 at home, the expectation is to win,” said Ethan Finlay. “This team has a mentality [where] we hold ourselves accountable. That’s why we feel extremely disappointed because tonight feels self-inflicted.”

Finlay had set the tone early in the game. The Minnesota native found the opening goal with only 11 minutes on the clock and then notched his second at the 30th-minute mark to seemingly put the Loons in control. But the Dynamo came back with goals from Memo Rodriguez at the 59th minute and Niko Hansen at the 83rd minute.

“Even in the first half, we looked like what we were. A team that hadn’t done an awful lot in two weeks, didn’t look sharp, didn’t look focused,” head coach Adrian Heath said. “With the start that we had, I thought that we were going to get away with it but as the game wore on our decision making got worse and worse. At the end I was quite thankful that we got a point, to be honest.”

Highlights: Minnesota United vs. Houston Dynamo

For Heath, what really hurt the Loons was decision-making which, in his mind, “proved too much.”

“I thought our decision-making was poor all evening. We ran with it when we should have passed it, we passed it when we should have ran with it,” Heath said. “We conceded too much space, we gave the opposition too much time on the ball and we turned the ball over in dangerous areas.”

This was the second time in the span of a month that the Loons gave away a two-goal lead to the Dynamo after second-half goals from Darwin Quintero and Maynor Figueroa sunk Minnesota’s lead back on Sept. 19.

“It’s one of them things that you don’t think will happen again but it has happened again," Heath said. "We actually mentioned it at halftime that we’d been in this position before but the circumstances were a little bit different. I felt more disappointed in Houston, to be honest, because there was not an excuse. I’m not giving them an excuse with the way that the game’s changed tonight but there are mitigating circumstances when you consider what the team has been through in the last couple of weeks.”

Finlay also criticized the decision to only give Adam Lundkvist a yellow card for a challenge on Hassani Dotson early in the game that later forced the midfielder to leave the game with an injury.

“I question why hasn’t VAR stepped in, he’s so far over the ball and so far late.” Finlay said. “These are the types of challenges that, in my opinion, have to be taken out of the game. It’s just not acceptable and that’s what VAR is there for.”

Minnesota will now turn their attention to their next game at FC Cincinnati on Saturday (7:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info) to try and spark some momentum for the final stretch of the regular season. The Loons sit in fifth place in the Western Conference, a point back of fourth-placed LAFC.