Late first-half surge propels Loons past LAFC
MINNEAPOLIS — Christian Ramirez and Darwin Quintero each scored a goal in the closing minutes of the first half as Minnesota United pulled away for a 5-1 victory Sunday over Los Angeles FC in Minneapolis.
Ramirez finished with two goals, teaming with Miguel Ibarra on a pair of second-half scores. Ibarra scored in the 56th minute and then fed a pass to Ramirez two minutes later for an easy wide-open score just in front of the LAFC goal.
Rasmus Schuller also scored a first-half goal as Minnesota United (9-11-1, 28 points) won its third consecutive MLS match and earned its the fourth home victory. The Loons have scored 14 goals while going 4-1-0 in their past five matches.
Benny Feilhaber scored a first-half goal for LAFC (10-5-5, 35 points), which has just one victory in its past five road matches. The five Minnesota United goals were tied for the most LAFC has given up in a match this season.
LAFC was playing without forward Carlos Vela, who did not make the trip to Minnesota in advance of Thursday's match with the cross-town Los Angeles Galaxy.
The home victory was key for a Minnesota United squad that is about to hit a road-heavy portion of its schedule. The Loons are 1-8-0 away from home this season and will play six of their next seven matches outside of Minnesota. They are 8-3-1 at home.
Schuller gave Minnesota United a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute when he scored with a right foot from just left of the penalty spot. Trailing the play, Schuller scored his first career MLS goal off a feed from Quintero.
LAFC responded quickly, getting Feilhaber's goal one minute later. The veteran Feilhaber cut back with his right foot to shake a defender and finished a left-footed shot from close range for his third goal of the season.
Minnesota United took control quickly with halftime approaching. Off a corner kick, LAFC was unable to clear the ball and Ramirez snuck a shot just past LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller. Ramirez's two goals gave him seven on the season.
With the halftime whistle approaching, Quintero remained hot with his sixth goal in his past five matches. He scored on a breakaway one minute into stoppage time, slotting the ball home with his right foot for his ninth goal of the season.