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Minnesota United earns first win at Allianz Field, 1-0 over D.C. United

Minnesota United forward Abu Danladi (99) attempts a shot against D.C. United during the first half of a match against D.C. United at Allianz Field on Sunday, April 28. Nick Wosika / USA TODAY Sports

ST. PAUL -- Two songs stuck out from Minnesota United’s celebration of its historic first win at Allianz Field on Sunday.

The first ballad was obvious and overdue. After two draws and a scoreless 81 minutes to start a third, the new stadium in St. Paul’s Midway was quickly becoming the site of only middling results. And it was begging the question: When would Loons supporters be able to sing “Wonderwall,” the Oasis’ song that became its adopted anthem back in 2011?

But with a late goal between Romain Metanire and possible late touch from Angelo Rodriguez, the wait ended for announced crowd of 19,620. It was cathartic for a club that felt the stress of hosting letdown draws with New York City in its April 13 opener and then with Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday.

The second song was a surprise and slapstick. In the Loons dressing room after the win, Minnesotans Brent Kallman and Ethan Finlay cranked up the volume on “I Wanna Rock” by Twisted Sister.

“We’re back, baby!” Finlay shouted as Kallman sang: “Turn it down, you say. All I got to say to you is time and time again is no!”

To turn up the music, Minnesota needed to produce its second consecutive clean sheet, which ran its home shutout stretch to 206 minutes. They did so by keeping star striker Wayne Rooney and D.C. off the scoreboard.

The Loons (4-3-2) were able to end a three-match winless streak, which included a heated giveaway 4-3 loss to Toronto FC on April 19. They were able to beat Eastern Conference-leading D.C., the last remaining undefeated MLS club on the road this season.

Instead of a draw, it was setting up for a loss in the 22nd minute. D.C. appeared to take a 1-0 lead with a header from Donovan Pines, but a video review showed teammate Frederic Brillant’s left arm inhibited goalkeeper Vito Mannone from jumping up to make the save, and the goal was disallowed.

Moments earlier, Mannone made a sprawling save on a Lucas Rodriguez strike from outside the 18-yard box. It went wide for Rooney, who sent in the cross Pines connected with. This was the best chance for either team in a sleepy Sunday afternoon game that Mannone drank Red Bull to get energized for.

As a blasé first half spilled over to the second, the Loons didn’t produce a shot on goal until its typical talisman Darwin Quintero left the game with an apparent left lower leg injury in the 51st minute. He suffered the knock in the 32nd minute, but tried to stay in the game after a halftime cortisone shot.

Substitute Miguel Ibarra injected the Loons attack with vigor, threatening almost immediately with the Loons’ first shot on goal in the 58th minute. It needed Bill Hamid’s finger tips to push it over the crossbar.

The Loons’ pressure kept mounting, with Metanire’s cross going through Rodriguez and past Hamid in the 82nd. It was the club’s first goal in front of its more-intense supporters sections on the south stand.

Rodriguez laughed postgame when asked if he got a touch on the pass. “As a forward, I’ll always say, ‘yes,’ ” he said through a translator.

Before that goal, center back Ike Opara admitted his mind briefly wandered to what-if they produced a third straight draw in front of a third sellout crowd. He knew what the moment meant. Before coming to Minnesota in an offseason trade ffrom Sporting Kansas City, Opara had witnessed the celebration on the losing side and said he thought, “This is pretty cool.”

While the FS1 national telecast aired “Wonderwall” live — like ESPN intended to with the season opener — they pulled Opara aside for an interview during the rendition.

“I didn’t really get to experience the full; it was great from what I saw,” Opara said. It was loud.”

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