Playing its third game in a week and against young, athletic FC Dallas, Minnesota United was the team that pressed — and pressured — its way to a 1-0 victory Saturday night at Allianz Field.
The Loons took 27 shots, just seven of them on goal. But it was Robin Lod's rebound shot in front off a corner kick in the 94th minute that made all the difference.
Minnesota United has followed an 0-4 start with consecutive 1-0 home victories over Vancouver and FC Dallas within 72 hours.
Until Lod's goal, it looked as if the Loons were headed into the good night with only a scoreless draw to show for their efforts, particularly in the final 15 minutes.
"It would have been frustrating," Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath said. "When you've lost four, I did say to my staff I would have settled for four points before the week started. To come out with six, I'm quite pleased about it."
He and his team will take those six points into a bye week when they'll get some rest and expect to welcome two new players, French first-division striker Adrien Hunou and Argentine left-side attacker Franco Fragapane once their immigration paperwork clears.
Heath was more than happy with the six-point week that started with a 3-2 loss at Colorado. Saturday's shutout was goalkeeper Tyler Miller's second as a starter.
"I meant, it would have helped to have nine, right?" Loons veteran defensive midfielder Wil Trapp said. "The game in Colorado felt in our grasp, and it was."
The Loons prevailed Saturday in six minutes of second-half stoppage time on a night when they struck shot after shot but couldn't score until Lod sent home a shot so close he couldn't miss.
"We were just relentless in our efforts," Trapp said. "We just kept going and going. We had 27 shots — only seven on goal — but guys just kept going. That's a great spirit for the entire team. We all know in MLS those games like these come back to help you."
Lod had a fine scoring chance himself in the game's 17th minute and new striker Ramon Abila looked dangerous when he entered as a second-half sub. Both star midfielder Emanuel Reynoso and right back Romain Metanire had their chances, too, late in the game when Minnesota United pressed on.
The Loons outshot FC Dallas 27-6.
"Somebody told me 27 shots," Heath said. "Maybe some shooting practice is needed because I don't think their keeper had enough to do with the efforts we had. I can't praise the players highly enough. I know there were a lot of tired players after Wednesday. For us to put in that type of performance going the way we were 80 minutes onward is testimony to the group."
Heath juggled his starting 11 and modified the formation from a 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1 that gave 35-year-old captain Ozzie Alonso a night's rest after he played all 180 minutes to start the week. Despite the schedule's demands, Heath's only substitution all night was Abila's entrance in the 64th minute.
The winner came after unexpected starter Brent Kallman headed Reynoso's corner kick toward the goal and FC Dallas defender Jose Martinez blocked it just outside the goal line.
Lod was there, and he immediately drove home a shot off goalkeeper Phelipe to send 4,100 admitted supporters home happy after they sang "Wonderwall" for the second time since Wednesday.
The game was played on a perfect Minnesota spring night that was clear, breezy and 72 degree at opening kick.
It also was played again before such a limited number of fans, presumably for the last time. A near capacity crowd is expected at 19,000-plus seat Allianz Field when the Loons next play there.
That's not until June 23 against Austin FC.