An entertaining season opener at the Hubert H. Humphrey yielded no goals as Minnesota United FC and the San Antonio Scorpions settled for a 0-0 draw in North American Soccer League action Saturday night.
San Antonio had the livelier start, as Bryan Jordan tested Daryl Sattler from early play before Walter Ramirez brought a diving save from the Minnesota goalkeeper from a free kick.
Minnesota’s trio of Etienne Barbara, Simone Bracalello and Miguel Ibarra began to combine well in the final 15 minutes of the half, as Bracalello and Ibarra both sent shots over the bar. Defender Connor Tobin also got in on the act from a corner kick, heading a shot low for San Antonio keeper Pat Hannigan to deal with.
Minnesota coach Manny Lagos said: “I was proud of the guys in terms of fighting. We had some chances, but it was a tough day and San Antonio were very organized and came here and looked strong.
“We didn’t get the result that we wanted. I’m glad we didn’t lose but I feel we can and should play a lot better and be sharper and we can get better in order to get three points next time.”
The second half saw great opportunities for each side, but neither could break the deadlock. Edin Husic hit the crossbar with a header midway through the second half, and Bracalello did likewise for a few minutes later. The goalkeepers each earned their paychecks for the night, with Hannigan denying Aaron Pitchkolan and Kevin Venegas from close range and Sattler at his best to save shots from Ramirez and substitute Nikola Vaslic.
“The MVP of the game was the cross bar for both teams,” said Scorpions coach Tim Hankinson. “A game like tonight certainly shows what we’re capable of.”
Minnesota United FC is off next Saturday before taking the field at the Metrodome again at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, against FC Edmonton.
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