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A losing team deserving better is a common lament in soccer circles, but Minnesota United made a strong case Wednesday at Austin.

The Loons fell 2-1 on midfielder Sebastián Driussi's goal in the 82nd minute, then spent the precious closing minutes getting stymied by goalkeeper Brad Stuver.

"I'm devastated for the players," Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath told reporters on a postgame video call. "I'm disappointed with the results but certainly not disappointed with the players. Their performance and effort were magnificent."

Tied 1-1 through 45 minutes, both teams were mere inches from additional scoring. In some way, the false alarms offered as much intrigue as the goals.

Joseph Rosales lost his first Major League Soccer scoring bid in the 5th minute as teammate Mender García was ruled offside. Then a diving save from Loons goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair robbed Alexander Ring of an 8th minute goal.

St. Clair's left hand made the decisive contact. But in the 19th minute, Austin's Jon Gallagher rifled a ball just over the keeper's left paw for a 1-0 lead.

Rosales refused to be denied his inaugural goal. And the reward came in the 26th minute on a redeeming assist from García.

"Joe's been extremely impressive, in my opinion, for his versatility," Loons captain Wil Trapp said. "You saw tonight, he scored one and had one disallowed — and that was an excellent goal as well."

Trapp banged his shot off the post in the 38th minute, becoming the last of the unlucky shooters in the first half. There were more of those agonizing moments later in the game.

Austin, meanwhile, buried its chance. Earlier this week, Heath joked that he hoped Driussi wouldn't return from an injury to play Wednesday.

Sure enough, Driussi's goal secured the victory for the home team after entering the game in the 61st minute for his first action since April 29. The tally started with Nick Lima's throw-in the Loons were unable to secure and clear.

"If you don't win the first one, you have to win the second one," Heath said. "We didn't do it. And then you leave the MVP of the league standing on his own."

A healthy Driussi netted 22 goals in 2022.

But the wild midweek game wasn't finished.

Minnesota's Hassani Dotson hit the post and later had a tying goal disallowed. Loons leading scorer Bongi Hlongwane was denied in the 94th minute. Minnesota kept marching in, only to be sent away empty.

"That's what you feel for the players, because their effort to take opportunities to run forward, to get in the box," Heath said. "To do what we did was magnificent on the back of the games that we've had recently."

Minnesota's U.S. Open Cup run, combined with Major League Soccer games, resulted in a grueling stretch of games. And it's not over. On Saturday, Toronto visits Allianz Field. The good news for the Loons — midfielder Emanuel Reynoso, suspended for not joining the team at the start of this season, is likely to be on the bench.

"He's getting frustrated," Heath said. "He wants to play but we have to be mindful of the fact that he hasn't played and done an awful lot for a long time. So no, he's not far away. That's the best way of describing him."

The Star Tribune did not send the writer of this article to the game. This was written using a broadcast, interviews and other material.