FC Edmonton lose 2-0 in Minneapolis

In the first installment of the Flyover Cup this season, FC Edmonton travelled to Minneapolis for its third of three games on the road to start 2013 and the result wasn’t what they were hoping for.

United FC was without the injured Etienne Barbara and suspended Pablo Campos, opening the door for Max Griffin to make his debut as a lone striker in front of center forward Simone Bracalello.

Meanwhile Neil Hlavaty was making his first return to Minnesota after joining the Eddies in the offseason.

It was the visitors who started strongest when striker Daryl Fordyce was sent in alone in the third minute but he didn’t get everything on the shot and it was easily pushed aside by Sattler in the Minnesota United FC goal.

The Eddies’ second opportunity came minutes later when a nice passing play and a flick-on by newcomer Robert Garrett found its way to the foot of Michael Cox up front but United defender Connor Tobin threw a brave tackle in and sent the ball out of play before Cox could touch it by him.

Edmonton’s first setback came in the 17th minute when starter Wes Knight went down with a left foot injury. Massimo Mirabelli came into the game on the left side of midfield, pushing Shaun Saiko over to the right to fill in for the injured Knight.

The majority of the half was played between the 18-yard boxes but things started to get a little chippy in the 28th minute when Aaron Pitchkolan tackled Saiko late and was shown a yellow. Saiko was shown a yellow of his own two minutes later.

In the 31st minute, the game was turned on its head when referee Alejandro Mariscal blew his whistle for an apparent foul in the FC Edmonton box. Simone Bracalello stepped up to the spot and slotted it passed Lance Parker in the Edmonton net.

The teams battled back and forth for the rest of the half but the score remained 1-0 for United.

Bracalello started the second half off offensively, unleashing a long range shot which Parker held easily.

The back-and-forth play continued throughout the second half with neither team able to get much offense going. In the 65th minute, Miller decided newcomer Garrett had run enough and replaced him with Chris Nurse, making his debut for his new club.

A minute later Miller was forced to make his third and final substitution when Eddie Edward came up limp and made way for Antonio Rago on the backline.

The Eddies began to really press after the subs and had four corners in a row off the boot of Saiko but weren’t able to finish.

That came back to haunt them in the 74th when Pitchkolan passed a ball to the far post and Lucas Rodriguez finished to make the score 2-0.

In the end, the Eddies couldn’t find the necessary offense and United took the game with a 2-0 shutout.

“If they don’t have the penalty decision then for me, they don’t even look like scoring in the first half,” Miller said. “I thought we were still the better team and looked the more dangerous. I’m just really disappointed. Today was actually a good game, all things being considered. It was two teams looking for a win. I can’t ask any more of the players. If we keep this up, I’m confident we’ll win more than we’ll lose.”

MINNESOTA XI (4-2-3-1): GK Sattler, LB Davis, CB Tobin, CB Altman (c), RB Kallman, CDM Reed (Takada 71st), CDM Pitchkolan, LW Rodriguez, CF Bracalello, RW Ibarra, ST Max Griffin
 
MINNESOTA BENCH: GK VanOekel, D Dias, D Friedland, M Arguez, M Takada, M Venegas, F Wall
 
EDMONTON XI (4-4-2): GK Parker; D Laing, LeRoy, Mitchell, Edward (Rago 66th); M Garrett (Nurse 65th), Hlavaty, Saiko, Knight (Mirabelli 17th); F Cox, Fordyce
 
EDMONTON BENCH: GK Smits, D Rago, M Mirabelli, M Nurse, F Jalali

Cutline: Shaun Saiko and the Eddies fell 2-0 to Minnesota United FC yesterday in Minneapolis. FC Edmonton take on the Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the Amway Canadian Championships on Wednesday at Commonwealth.

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