MLS champs Atlanta edge out Minnesota to lift US Open Cup - GulfToday

MLS champs Atlanta edge out Minnesota to lift US Open Cup

MLS champs Atlanta edge out Minnesota to lift US Open Cup

Atlanta United celebrate with the trophy after defeating Minnesota United 2-1 to win the US Open Cup Final in Atlanta, Georgia, on Tuesday. Agence France-Presse

Los Angeles: Atlanta United added the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup crown to their Major League Soccer title as head coach Frank de Boer claimed a second piece of silverware in as many weeks on Tuesday.

An own goal from Chase Gasper after 10 minutes and a 16th minute strike from Pity Martinez were enough to give Atlanta a 2-1 victory over Minnesota United FC in front of 35,709 fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Robin Lod scored on 47 minutes for Minnesota but even though Atlanta played the closing stages with 10 men after Leandro Gonzalez’s 74th minute dismissal, the hosts hung on for the win.

The US Open Cup is American soccer’s oldest and most important knockout competition, dating back more than a century to 1914.

Atlanta, crowned MLS Cup champions in 2018 for the first time, have enjoyed a successful August.

Two weeks ago the expansion side defeated Mexico’s Club America to clinch the Campeones Cup, which sees the MLS Cup champions take on the winners of Mexico’s Liga MX in a one-off game.

Atlanta grabbed two early goals Tuesday to put themselves in a commanding position against Minnesota.

They took the lead early on when Gonzalez Pirez’s cross from the byline struck defender Gasper and looped over goalkeeper Vito Mannone to make it 1-0.

Argentinian striker Martinez then made it 2-0 on 16 minutes, sweeping home Justin Meram’s cross emphatically from the middle of the penalty area.

Finnish striker Lod gave Minnesota hope just after half time, volleying past Brad Guzan to make it 2-1.

However Minnesota were unable to conjure an equaliser and Atlanta held on for a deserved win.

Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney was handed an additional one-game ban on Tuesday following his sending off for D.C. United against the New York Red Bulls on Aug.21, Major League Soccer confirmed.

Rooney was given a red card for violent conduct after striking Red Bulls midfielder Cristian Casseres with a forearm during a penalty box collision.

The dismissal led to an automatic one-game suspension, which Rooney served last weekend when he sat out United’s game with Philadelphia Union.

However after reviewing the incident further, the MLS Disciplinary Committee on Tuesday confirmed Rooney had been given an extra game on top of his initial suspension. The decision means Rooney will miss D.C. United’s trip to Montreal on Aug.31.

Agence France-Presse

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