clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Recap: An early own goal seals Minnesota’s fate in the 2019 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Final

New, 4 comments

Chase Gaspar’s own goal in the first half gave Atlanta an early lead that they never gave up and that the Loons couldn’t recover from.

August 27, 2019 - Atlanta, Georgia, United States - Minnesota United defender Ike Opara (3) fouls Atlanta United midfielder Ezequiel Barco (8) during the US Open Cup Final match between Atlanta United and Minnesota United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
August 27, 2019 - Atlanta, Georgia, United States - Minnesota United defender Ike Opara (3) fouls Atlanta United midfielder Ezequiel Barco (8) during the US Open Cup Final match between Atlanta United and Minnesota United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
(Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)

In the Final of the 2019 edition of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, Minnesota United fell for the third straight time in competitive play to Atlanta United. With an own goal 10 minutes in the Loons had their backs against the wall for the next 80’.

With the US Open Cup rules requiring only 5 International players on the 18 man roster some wholesale changes looked to be necessary for the Loons compared to Thursday in Kansas City. While Heath did line Minnesota up in a 4-2-3-1 only two changes from the Starting XI we’re made with Kevin Molino and Ozzie Alonso moving into a midfield role instead of Ethan Finlay and Wilfried Moimbé-Tahrat.

Minnesota did not look good at all starting the match as just 67 seconds into the match Josef Martinez took a shot and slid it past Vito Mannone. However Josef was called offside taking the pass which avoided MNUFC giving up an extremely fast goal.

It wouldn’t take long for the red and black Leandro González Pirez attemped a cross in the 10th minute but Chase Gaspar would deflect it back to his own net where Vito Mannone jumped to get a hand on it. Unfortunately for Vito he didn’t get enough on the ball to lift it over the crossbar and it went straight into the corner of his own goal.

Not even six minutes later Atlanta would score again, this time without a Loon putting the ball in for them. Gonzalo Martínez was left unchecked between Boxall and Opara and was able to cut directly between them and in front of Alonso to receive a short pass from Justin Meram. Immediately after receiving the pass Martínez put the cross past Vito and into the back of the net for Atlanta’s second goal.

The “fun” didn’t stop there in the first half though as both Hassani Dotson and Ozzie Alonso we’re given yellow cards in the 29th and 44th minutes respectively. Heading into the second half the match looked eerily similar to the Round of 16 match in Houston. 2 conceded goals, not many chances and the Loons looking very unorganized.

Unlike the Houston match where it took 21 minutes in the second half for the Loons to score it only took two this time. Kevin Molino with the ball at the far side of the box sent a ball to Robin Lod who with the side of his foot directed the ball between Atlanta’s Leandro González Pirez and Miles Robinson and past keeper Brad Guzan.

In the 53’ minute, and for the second time in the match Josef Martinez was denied a goal by an offsides flag. This time because Justin Meram was caught instead of himself, but the result being the same with Atlanta being denied a goal.

The 69th minute would see the first change of the night for Minnesota with Ethan Finlay coming on for Robin Lod, at the same time Atlanta changed Barco out for Emerson Hyndman. A short two minutes later Leandro González Pirez would get booked with his and Atlanta’s first yellow card of the night. Then three minutes later he would get his second Yellow Card resulting in a Red Card and being sent off to put Atlanta United down to 10 men.

Immediately after the sending off Darwin Quintero would come in for Ozzie Alonso in an effort to bolster the attack and score a second, and match tying goal. The last sub for Minnesota saw Abu Danladi come on for Mason Toye with just five minutes plus stoppage remaining. Chase Gasper for MNUFC and Franco Escobar for AUFC were each given a yellow for an altercation with each other.