Minnesota United blank Los Angeles FC, remain unbeaten


Minnesota United take down LAFC 2-0 at home

Minnesota United take down LAFC 2-0 at home

Robin Lod scored his second goal of the season early and Minnesota United continued their unbeaten start with a 2-0 victory over slumping LAFC in Eric Ramsay's Loons managerial debut.

Bongi Hlongwane added his second goal of the season late to give Minnesota (3-0-1, 10 points) and its new manager some insurance against the two-time defending Western Conference champions.

Dayne St. Clair made two stops for the Loons, who kept their first clean sheet while becoming the third consecutive opponent to hold LAFC (1-2-1, 4 points) scoreless.

Midfielders Emanuel Reynoso and Franco Fragapane also made their season debuts off the bench for the Loons after missing the early trio of matches with injury.

The visitors have now gone three straight MLS matches without a goal three times since the start of last June. And reigning MLS Golden Boot winner Denis Bouanga has yet to score for LAFC. He had a very late potential consolation goal disallowed correctly for being offside.

Ramsay was named manager before the season, but the former Manchester United assistant remained in England for the opening three matches of 2024 while awaiting his work visa.

Any concerns that his late arrival would interrupt the Loons' early-season momentum were short-lived.

It was LAFC creating most of the early pressure, but Minnesota took the lead against the run of play on a 16th-minute set piece from the left flank.

Jeong Sangbin drove a long diagonal ball into the box, and LAFC defender Jesus Murillo tried to head it clear but didn't connect cleanly.

The ball fell to Lod, who composed himself and bent a right-footed finish beyond the dive of Hugo Lloris and inside the right post.

From there, Minnesota was mostly content to absorb pressure from LAFC, which failed to translate their forrays forward into clear chances and finished the match with only two shots on target.

And after coming on for Teemu Pukki midway through the second half, Hlongwane sealed the victory when he capitalized on a defensive error and finished past Lloris on the run in the 88th minute.

--Field Level Media