The last time Minnesota United surrendered a late soul-crushing goal at home, a draw three weeks ago against Vancouver only felt like a loss.
Saturday's outcome really was one, a 2-1 loss to Orlando City.
Second-half substitute Duncan McGuire's 88th-minute goal was the winner for the visitors at Allianz Field. The Loons (3-2-2) remained winless at home this season, falling to 0-1-2.
The two teams swapped early second-half goals, trading Loons attacker Bongokuhle Hlongwane's 58th minute one created by Robin Lod and Hassani Dotson's playmaking with midfielder Iván Angulo's equalizer in the 66th minute.
Just when it looked like the Loons might go home with a third consecutive home draw, McGuire scored the winning header. A crossing ball from the left sideline had been flicked by Angulo past goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair. Angulo's shot knocked off the crossbar, but McGuire headed it into an open goal.
"It's a difficult one to take, but that's football," Loons coach Adrian Heath said. "Small margins, at either end. Tonight, they probably have a little rub of the green and we haven't."
Heath returned Lod to his position as a right-side attacker, next to recently acquired Sang Bin Jeong. The South Korea striker started for the first time in MLS, playing 57 minutes.
McGuire's goal stood as the winner against a Loons team that chance after chance all night long. The missed chances started with Hlongwane's short-range redirection that went wide right in just the second minute. Later, Lod had a chance of his own thwarted.
Second-half sub Franco Fragapane's short-range shot was saved in the 85th minute, three minutes before McGuire's winner.
Orlando City (3-2-2), coming off a bye, had two shots on goal all night and scored on both of them. That's the second time in two weeks it has happened against the Loons.
Orlando City coach Óscar Pareja praised his team for waiting those two weeks and still they played with what he called "such personality."
"They showed today that they're strong, that we could overcome difficult moments," he said. "And we have three valuable points. It is important. All credit to this group of players."
The Loons, once so formidable at Allianz Field, have two draws and Saturday's loss now. On March 25, Vancouver tied United 1-1 with a goal in the eighth minute of stoppage time that the referee originally declared would be six minutes long.
"It's not ideal to start three home games and haven't won," Lod said. "The frustration part is we had the lead in those games and just collapsed. Especially today, we had enough chances to score. We just have to be more precise in the final third. That was the issue today for sure."
The Loons played New York Red Bulls to that 1-1 draw in their home opener March 11 on a cold night and a snowy field that didn't appear to give them much of a home-field advantage. They tied Vancouver by the same score two weeks later, when they played without regulars gone on international duty or suspended (star Emanuel Reynoso).
The Loons team had been undefeated (3-0) on the road until last week's 2-1 loss at Chicago.
"We certainly looked better today," Heath said. "Our movement was a lot better. We got more people in the box, more final-third entries. All the things we talked about, we did a decent job on. Obviously, people don't mean to miss chances. ...
"It's really disappointing. I was really disappointed with the effort in the group last week. I'm certainly not this weekend."