Minnesota United stuns defending U.S. Open Cup champion Houston Dynamo with furious rally

While the USA was playing its first game on Tuesday night at Allianz Field, Minnesota United's new home, the Loons were down in Houston, where they pulled off one of the biggest wins in their two-plus seasons as an MLS team.

Minnesota United knocked off the defending U.S. Open Cup champion, 3-2, with three goals in the last 24 minutes to rally from 2-0 down.

Minnesota United trailed 2-0 at the half, but the insertion of Miguel Ibarra in midfield after the break brought a spark to the Loons. The Loons came close on shots by Angelo Rodriguez and Ibarra that keeper Eric Nelson saved, but they finally broke through in the 66th minute when Rodriguez found Darwin Quintero for the first of two goals.

Quintero evened the score with a blast from 30 yards in the 82nd minute, and winger Ethan Finlay fed Mason Toye for the winner in the 89th minute.

Minnesota coach Adrian Heath said the key was getting back in the game with a goal after a poor first half.

"We’ve all played in games when you’re 2-nil up and you end up losing the game," he said. "The next goal was going to determine how the game went. And I thought, if we could get one, then we’d make something of it. Certainly, in the second half, I thought our play was excellent. I think we had 16 efforts at goal. We got the ball wide, we got crosses in, we looked dangerous on set pieces. Playing here, it can give you an excuse to quit at times when you’re 2-nil down. But they didn’t. They kept going, and we live to fight another day."

A week earlier, Quintero also scored twice in the 4-1 Open Cup win over Sporting KC, snapping a two-month scoreless streak in MLS play (nine games).

"As I said last week, sometimes, the little break like that and you get on a roll," said Heath. "So, hopefully, that’s the turning point for him. I thought he looked excellent, certainly in the second half. Play was superb."

The Loons will face the winner of Wednesday's FC Dallas-New Mexico United game in the quarterfinals on July 10.

The Dynamo was playing without Hondurans Romell Quioto, Maynor Figueroa and Alberth Elis, who are at the Gold Cup. Colombian Mauro Manotas and Swede Adam Lundkvist were back in their native countries taking care of visa issues, and Memo Rodriguez is injured, while A.J. DeLaGarza (Guam) and Kiki Struna (Slovenia) were held out having just returned from international duty.

Houston coach Wilmer Cabrera said the Dynamo was very good in the first half was very disappointing after the break.

"In the second half," he said, "we were horrible. We didn’t show personality. We didn’t show commitment and we didn’t fight and we allowed three goals in the second half—that’s really bad and that’s why some players are starters and some others not, because this is your opportunity to show that you deserve to play but the games are 90 minutes, not 45 minutes.”

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