Allianz Field’s zanies stacked on the “Wonderwall” waited three full games to sing their lungs out for the first time there. When the opportunity finally came after a 1-0 victory Sunday, Minnesota United striker Angelo Rodriguez didn’t need much of a translation to describe the sound.
“Bonita,” he said, smiling.
The result over a D.C. United team that hadn’t lost away from home until Sunday was as beautiful as Rodriguez’s decisive goal in the 82nd minute wasn’t.
Keeping the back line intact while captain Francisco Calvo was neither starter nor sub, the Loons, playing their third game in nine days, delivered their second shutout in four days. That earned them three points coach Adrian Heath thought they deserved in Wednesday’s scoreless draw with the L.A. Galaxy.
They prevailed Sunday over former Premier League superstar Wayne Rooney and D.C. United when Loons defender Romain Metanire’s cross from the right side went through Rodriguez’s legs on a dead run toward the goal and found its far, left side without anybody knowing quite for certain — other than the big man himself — whether he had redirected the ball.
“As a forward, I’m always going to say yes,” Rodriguez said through a translator when asked if he redirected the ball. “I kind of touched it. It doesn’t matter if it was Romain’s or my goal. What matters is the win.”
The teams played even for more than a half after D.C. United forward Donovan Pines’ header goal in the 21st minute was overturned by video review. The Loons finally found their pace after halftime, when Miguel Ibarra was an early sub for star Darwin Quintero, who injured an ankle 30 minutes into the game and left in the 51st minute because he couldn’t move like he normally does.
Ibarra provided pulse for a team that kept building toward its winning goal. D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid deflected Ibarra’s left-footed blast over the goal in the 58th minutes after Rodriquez and Metanire worked a two-way passing play on the right side to set him up.
Twenty-five minutes later, Metanire sent another pass from the right side through Rodriguez’s legs — this time, into the goal — for the winner that Rooney saw coming from well down the road.
Afterward, Rooney lamented his team’s positioning — “there wasn’t space for us to play” — on an afternoon when teammates Paul Arriola and Luciano Acosta griped at each other when Quintero was down injured.
“You could see the goal coming and you could see how it was going to come from their fullback,” Rooney said. “It was coming for 15, 20 minutes and it deserved to be conceded because we didn’t learn about spacing.”
Heath called the victory deserved because his team pushed forward more forcefully after halftime and because his back line — with Eric Miller and Brent Kallman starting for a second consecutive game — helped deliver the team’s third shutout this season. Before Wednesday, the Loons allowed seven goals in two previous matches.
“Another clean sheet, which will you please you lot, no doubt,” Heath told reporters afterward. “Stop you writing about it again this week, so that’s good. I don’t have to listen to it again all week, so that’s good.”
All he and his players heard Sunday were thousands of voices singing the British band Oasis’ 1995 hit “Wonderwall” amid billowing blue smoke.
“My kids enjoyed it,” Rodriguez said.
Fox Sports 1 pulled Loons defender Ike Opara away for a postgame interview so he missed part of it.
“From what I saw, it was loud,” Opara said. “Apparently, I’m an Oasis fan now. I never would have thought that.”