All that was missing was one more goal, and “Wonderwall” blaring for the 20,000-plus faithful after the final whistle.
Instead, the Loons walked off the pitch in disbelief after conceding three goals in the final 17 minutes to suffer a “hugely disappointing” 3-1 defeat Sunday.
“Extremely disappointing, to be up a man for as long as we were, to only come up with one goal tonight, to give up the goals that we did,” Ethan Finlay said. “I mean, there's not much good to take away from this game. It's extremely disappointing.”
The late collapse further complicates a tight Audi MLS Cup Playoffs race in the Western Conference, with two points separating four teams and a six-point gap from positions 5 to 10.
“All of a sudden it’s been a great result for all the teams in and around us and below us. Gives them a little bit of belief now,” Minnesota coach Adrian Heath said. "So, when you look at the running, we’ve got to play each other. Got to go to Vancouver, LA, [LAFC] are coming. So, it’s… they’re the games that are going to be huge for us.”
Heath repeated his mantra about goals changing games, and was certain a second strike would have put this one away. Instead, Cole Bassett leveled from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute, followed by late goals by Michael Barrios and Lucas Esteves.
“We got desperate, started to play longer balls, we started to play nearly five on the front so there wasn’t room to run into, no room to play. And we played into their hands a little bit,” Heath said. "So, hugely disappointing. It would have been a great win for us if we would have gotten the three points when you look at the league table. But, now, hey, six games to go we’re in the playoffs. It’s all to play for.”
That quest continues with a road match against Austin FC on Saturday (9:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+).
“A very important opportunity for us to get points on the road,” Finlay said. "Six games, it'll happen quick, but we need to just be diligent, take it one game at a time because they're gonna come quick in succession with a game every three or four days here in the next couple weeks. But we'll start with Austin and we got to have a reaction.”