Soccer: Minnesota United falls in Ibarra's final match
BLAINE - Minnesota United ended its Spring Season with a 3-2 loss to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers Saturday. In his final match with the club, Miguel Ibarra scored a penalty kick goal early in the first half. "It was a tough result to take," Unite...
BLAINE - Minnesota United ended its Spring Season with a 3-2 loss to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers Saturday.
In his final match with the club, Miguel Ibarra scored a penalty kick goal early in the first half.
"It was a tough result to take," United head coach Manny Lagos said. "The Spring Season is a quick sprint so you have to play very well to have a chance at the title. Now with this break we can take some time to look at what we need to work on so we can get the results we want in the Fall."
Fort Lauderdale struck early to put Minnesota on its heels. In the third minute, a headed ball during a scrum at the top on the penalty area fell to the feet of Stefano Pinho. Pinho was able to touch the ball just over the outstretched arm of United goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt to put the Strikers up 1-0.
Miguel Ibarra got on the scoresheet in his final match thanks to a penalty in the 18th minute. After Ibson was taken down in the box, Ibarra stepped up to take the penalty shot. He calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner to level the match for Minnesota.
Exactly 20 minutes later, Minnesota took the lead. Midfielder Kevin Venegas played a short corner to Ibarra who passed it back to Venegas. The midfielder curled a ball into the penalty area, where team captain Aaron Pitchkolan was waiting to drive the ball home with a powerful header.
Minnesota held the lead well into the second half, but a quick pair of goals from the Strikers dashed United's hope of victory. Coming on as a sub just minutes earlier, Jose Angulo headed home a cross from Leó Moura to tie the match for Fort Lauderdale.
Two minutes later, Pinho completed the brace after beating defender Cristiano Dias to a long through ball. Pinho cut inside and curled a shot around Dias that beat Hildebrandt on the near post to reclaim the lead.
United push up the field at the end of the match, desperately trying to equalize. It looked poised to salvage a draw thanks to a man advantage coming from an Angulo red card. Two point-blank chances, a diving header from Christian Ramirez and a first touch volley from Justin Davis, seemed like sure goals for United but Strikers keeper Josh Ford was able to deny both attempts.
United's seven-game unbeaten streak came to an end and puts the team in fourth place in the Spring Season standings.
Ibarra ends his time with United with a total of 17 goals, 11 assists and over 7,800 minutes played across all competitions.
Following the midseason break, Minnesota will open its Fall Season campaign on the road against the Carolina RailHawks at 4 p.m. July 4. The match will be televised on KSTC Channel 45.