International Club Friendly Report: Minnesota United -v- St Patrick's Athletic

International Friendly: Minnesota United -V- St Patricks Athletic

St Patrick’s Athletic faced off against MLS side Minnesota United in a historic international friendly on Wednesday night (12AM Irish time) that saw the Dublin 8 outfit miss out narrowly in 1-0 defeat at Allianz Field, Minnesota.

Amidst the pre-game fanfare and national anthems, the game kicked off in chilly conditions with temperatures hovering around -1°C.

Kitted out in their army green St Patrick's day themed third kit, St Pat’s got off to an impressive start.

The best chance of the first half fell to Ruairi Keating, who failed to capitalize on a defense-splitting pass from Brandon Kavanagh.

Although Keating managed to find the back of the net later in the half, the goal was disallowed for offside, leaving the scoreline level at the break.

The second half saw the saints continuing their positive play, with Chris Forrester testing the Minnesota keeper Clint Irwin with a close-range effort.

However, it was Minnesota who broke the deadlock 57 minutes in when Kervin Arriaga capitalized on a cutback through the Dublin defence to slot home past Marcelo Pitaluga, who had replaced Danny Rogers at halftime.

Despite making further substitutions in an attempt to find an equalizer, the Saints struggled to break down the resilient Minnesota defence. Clint Irwin denied them once again with a crucial save from Forrester's inventive free-kick attempt.

Pitaluga came to the Athletic’s rescue with a spectacular save on 83 minutes, keeping out Sang Bin's effort to keep the deficit at just one goal.

The Dublin side had a golden opportunity to level the score in the 85th minute when Kieran Freeman's cross found Jay McClelland, but the substitute squandered the chance by firing over the bar from close range.

As the game drew to a close, manager Jon Daly made further substitutions, giving Arran Pettifer and Alfie Taylor some late minutes on the pitch. Despite their efforts, they couldn’t find the equalizer, but the experience proved valuable against a Minnesota side sitting at the top of the MLS Western Conference.

Although St Patrick’s Athletic suffered a narrow defeat, their performance against Minnesota United showcased their potential and provided valuable lessons for the team moving forward.

The saints are back in action next week in where they visit Drogheda to take on Kevin Doherty's side who currently sit 9th in the league.