Minnesota United FC 0, Columbus Crew SC 1 | 2017 MLS Match Recap

A tactical chess match between Minnesota United and Columbus Crew SC looked destined to end in a scoreless draw for much of its entirety on Saturday.

Kekuta Manneh was not a fan of those plans. 

Manneh scored a second-half goal and that was enough for visiting Columbus to walk out of TCF Bank Stadium with a 1-0 win over Minnesota on Saturday night. Manneh struck in the 58th minute, dribbling up the field and taking advantage of the space given to him by rifling in a low effort from distance.

The play from Manneh was one of few chances on the day, as both defenses led the way. Minnesota United and Crew SC combined for just four shots on target in the match, but the visitors were the ones that found a way to break the deadlock and take the full three points.

Goals

  • 58' – CLB – Kekuta Manneh Watch

Three Things

  1. TACTICAL BATTLE: This encounter was a chess match from the start, as both Minnesota United and Columbus Crew SC started the game with different formations than usual. That led to a long feeling out process in which neither side created much danger, especially in what was a lackluster first half. Things picked up slightly in the second half when Minnesota switched their look and started taking more risks, but neither side was overwhelmingly impressive in the final third.
  2. FINDING A RHYTHM: Kekuta Manneh is starting to look a little more comfortable in Columbus. Sure, it helped that Minnesota constantly gave up acres of space for Manneh to exploit on the counter on Saturday, but he looked very confident when he was on the ball. He tried repeatedly to make things happen, either on the dribble or by trying to pass to teammates, and made the difference in the match with his well-taken effort from distance.
  3. PROGRESS AT THE BACK: Columbus' defense has not been incredible this year, but it took strides in posting a shutout against Minnesota. Crew SC limited the expansion side to just one shot on target, held talented striker Christian Ramirez in check, and recorded their first clean sheet since May 31. Oh, and they did all of that with two rookie defenders -- Lalas Abubakar and Alex Crognale -- starting and going the distance.

Next Up

  • MIN: Wednesday, July 19 – vs. Houston Dynamo (8 pm ET | MLS LIVE)
  • CLB: Saturday, July 22 – vs. Philadelphia Union (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE)

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