Miguel Ibarra’s second-half goal leads Minnesota past MLS side
Press release: Midfielder Miguel Ibarra scored late as Minnesota United FC topped Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire 1-0 at the Toyota Park practice fields in Bridgeview, Ill. After a slow start to the preseason, United FC has now won four consecutive games by a combined score of 15-2, posting three shutouts along the way.
“I thought it was a hard-fought game. Certainly both teams had their chances, and we just did a good job today of creating chances and maintaining possession at good times of the game. We finished really well after we scored, and I thought we could have had a few more,” Minnesota head coach Manny Lagos said. “We understand that next week the league gets underway, and it’s going to be tough. We have to focus on the task on hand, which is the home opener.”
Either side could have taken the lead in the first half, with Chicago hitting the crossbar in the 17th minute and Minnesota forcing a save from Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson in the 33rd. Chicago threatened early in the second half, sending a quality shot wide right away before forcing a goalline clearance from Minnesota in the 62nd minute to keep it scoreless.
Minnesota wasn’t without its own chances in a more open second half, and Ibarra finished a nice combination with Simone Bracalello and Pablo Campos in the 72nd minute, overlapping Campos and finishing his feed from inside the box. Minnesota held out comfortably for the final 20 minutes and finished with a man advantage after Fire trialist Leo Lelis was shown a red card in stoppage time.