Houston's Open Cup Title Defense Ends with 3-2 Loss to Minnesota United FC
HOUSTON - The Houston Dynamo saw their run in the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup come to an end this evening after a 3-2 defeat to Minnesota United FC at BBVA Stadium.
Forward Ronaldo Peña gave Houston the lead in the ninth minute after he capitalized on a loose ball inside the six-yard box. Midfielder Tomás Martínez's corner kick was recycled and fell toward the far post where Peña tapped the ball in for his second goal of the competition.
The Dynamo doubled their lead in the 37th minute after forward Marlon Hairston won the ball from Jan Gregus near midfield and found Martínez racing between Minnesota's center backs at the top of the box. The Argentine dribbled into the penalty area and beat the onrushing Minnesota goalkeeper Vito Mannone for his second tally of the tournament to give Houston a two-goal lead at intermission.
Minnesota captain Darwin Quintero pulled a goal back for the Loons in the 66th minute after he got on the end of a low cross from Angelo Rodriguez. Quintero then equalized for Minnesota in the 82nd minute with a blast from distance that just eluded a diving effort from Houston goalkeeper Michael Nelson.
The game appeared to be destined for two 15-minute extra time periods, but Minnesota midfielder Ethan Finlay found second-half substitute Mason Toye inside the box in the 89th minute for the game-winning goal.
Houston pushed for a late equalizer throughout the five minutes of stoppage time but were unable to find enough space as Minnesota defended their goal with all 11 players until referee Farhad Dadkho blew the final whistle.
Despite the scoreline, Nelson put on a standout performance in his first competitive action for the club, finishing with six saves on the night. Rookie defender Sam Junqua, the eighth overall pick in this Spring's MLS SuperDraft out of Cal, also made his Dynamo debut, starting at left back. Forward Carlos Small, signed to a Short Term Agreement from Rio Grande Valley FC earlier this afternoon, made his Dynamo debut when he came on as a substitute in the 89th minute.
The Dynamo face a quick turnaround as they hit the road this weekend to return to league play on Saturday at Portland Timbers FC. The match kicks off a three-game road trip for the team, as they visit San Jose on Wednesday, June 26 and then fly cross-country to play the New England Revolution on Saturday, June 29.
Houston return to BBVA Stadium on July 3 to host the New York Red Bulls for the third match of the 713 series. The 713 Series features a $7 general admission ticket, $1 hot dogs and $3 beer. Tickets are available online at HoustonDynamo.com or by phone at 713-276-4625 (GOAL).
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