Minnesota United Score Late Equalizer to Secure Draw Against Toronto FC
FiredUp Network Sports Writer
Saturday, June 3, 2023
Minnesota United midfielder Kevin Arriaga was the hero for his club as he scored a late equalizer to secure a point at home for his club, while Toronto FC missed another opportunity and settled for their second straight draw.
Toronto head coach Bob Bradley made one change to his starting lineup as he started C.J. Sapong in-place of Deandre Kerr in between Lorezno Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi.
Minnesota goalkeeper Dayne St.Clair came up with a big save in the 10th minute as Bernardeschi had a great look from outside the box and curled a shot on goal that was stopped by the Canadian.
Moments later, Bernardeschi had another opportunity as he received a nice pass from Insigne before manoeuvering around a Minnesota fullback, but couldn't get himself in a favorable position and the ball went out of play for a goal kick.
The match remained scoreless heading into halftime. Toronto were unable to capitalize some of their chances, so Bradley was in a position where he needed to get creative with his lineup.
Coach Bradley did just that as he subbed on Kerr and Brandon Servania for Kosi Thompson and Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty, and shifted Bernardeschi to the middle. Unfortunately for Bradley, his backline would take another hit as Matt Hedges was forced to sub off due to an apparent injury and was replaced by Sigurd Rosted, who was returning to the lineup after dealing with an injury of his own.
Bradley's change in tactics paid off as Toronto got on the scoresheet in the 58th after a that created by Bernardeschi and led to Insigne receiving a cross pass from Richie Laryea and putting it in the back of the net.
The Italian DP was a lot more engaged when he was shifted to central midfield and it showed with how Toronto got on the scoresheet. When asked if he envisions the move to be permanent, Bradley responded by noting that it was a situational change and mentioned that it's important for the experiment with a different look in the attack, saying:
"I think we would like to have some tactical flexibility. Sometimes when you do have injuries, your ability to do different things is a little bit more limited but I think these are ideas that we've done in different situations in the past, maybe not for a whole game...I think it's important that we continue to have some different ideas. We certainly know that our ability to create more chances is important, and you look for all the ways that we can improve in that regard."
TFC central defender Aime Mabika made an incredible block in the 87th minute, which appeared to be the one fans look back on as the moment that won them the match. But that wasn't the case as Minnesota remained resilient and scored the equalizing goal in the 89th minute.
Toronto are back in action next Saturday, when they host Nashville SC at BMO Field.
Photo Credit: Toronto FC (@TorontoFC - Twitter)