Adrian Heath got his revenge while Christian Ramirez got his redemption.
Minnesota United snapped a two game losing skid on Saturday evening, defeating visiting Orlando City, 1-0, at TCF Bank Stadium.A 56th-minute goal from in-form striker Christian Ramirez lifted the Loons to their fourth victory of their debut season.
It was the visiting Lions who looked the more-likely to hold a lead going into halftime. Cyle Larin’s ninth-minute effort was saved by Bobby Shuttlesworth, while Matias Perez Garcia’s long-range effort also forced a good save from the 30-year-old. Ramirez had the only effort on goal for the Loons in the opening 45 minutes, seeing his right-footed effort saved by Joe Bendik. Carlos Rivas’ left-footed effort struck the post after 38 minutes for Orlando City, as the teams went into halftime deadlocked at 0-0.
Early in the second half, Larin was saved again by Shuttlesworth, this time from the left side of the box. Midfielder Luis Gil tested his luck from long-range in the 50th minute, but Shuttlesworth again was up to the task.
After 56 minutes, the Loons had their breakthrough as Ramirez finished off Johan Venegas’ assist, beating Bendik to the center of the goal. It was the strikers’ eight goal of the season, and his third in the month of May following two consecutive games with an own goal.
Shuttlesworth kept his side ahead, keeping out efforts from both Will Johnson and Rivas. Just before the hour mark, Ramirez missed a late chance to double the Loons lead and seal the three points for good, but Orlando City came calling late.
Rivas was kept out for the second time on the evening by Shuttlesworth, while substitute Giles Barnes and Garcia missed stoppage time efforts.
At the final whistle, the Loons celebrated their fourth home victory of the season. Shuttlesworth was huge for Heath’s side, making seven saves in the clean sheet. Even without Kaka in the starting eleven, Orlando City created numerous opportunities offensively. Jason Kreis’ side have now fallen for the fourth time this month, and remain winless in their last six matches. The Lions (6-2-5) have only won once on the road this season, but return home on Wednesday to face off with D.C. United.
Minnesota United (4-2-7) now with 14 points on the season, begins a two game road trip, starting with a Western Conference showdown at Sporting KC on June 3.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Bobby Shuttlesworth was huge on the evening for Adrian Heath’s side, making seven saves in the 1-0 win. Christian Ramirez kept his in-form run going, scoring for the third time this month, but the former New England Revolution keeper saved the Loons three points.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
The final 10+ minutes of the match really could have changed the outcome of this match. Orlando City created several chances towards goal, but were not clinical enough in front of goal. Carlos Rivas had a good outing for the Lions, but was kept out two times by Shuttlesworth in total.
MATCH TO FORGET
Even after only seeing two efforts go his way the entire match, Joe Bendik really could have done better Saturday night. The 28-year-old was beaten by Christian Ramirez, which was the deciding factor in the scoreline. Bendik was not troubled in the opening 45 minutes, but was unable to keep out the striker’s effort which cost the Lions a shot at away points.