ATLANTA (Aug. 27, 2019) – Atlanta United FC claimed their first Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title with a 2-1 win against Minnesota United FC in front of a tournament-Final record crowd of 35,709 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. A 10th minute own goal combined with Pity Martinez’s 16th minute finish gave the club enough of a lead to survive an early second half strike from Minnesota’s Robin Lod and Leandro Gonzalez Pirez’s 74th minute red card to give the club its third piece of hardware in the last nine months.
Charged by the biggest crowd to witness a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final, Atlanta came out with all cylinders firing and needed only 10 minutes to find the score sheet. Working well up the right, Pity Martinez unlocked the Loons’ backline by sending Gonzalez Pirez to the end line where his cross took an awkward deflection off Minnesota United defender Chase Gasper and looped over goalkeeper Vito Mannone before tucking into the back left post.
Minnesota nearly struck back just two minutes later when Jan Gregus’ free kick from the right was well-placed to pick out Michael Boxall, but the New Zealand international nodded his effort over the empty net.
Atlanta survived the scare and increased their lead in the 16th minute. Justin Meram strolled up the left unchallenged and centered a ball to the penalty spot for Pity Martinez where the Argentine attacker blasted an emphatic effort past Mannone to make it 2-0.
The hosts continued pouring on the pressure and somewhat replicated their play from five minutes earlier; Meram broke into the box again before cutting a ball back to the top of the area for Ezequiel Barco. The midfielder took one touch before curling a low blast that saw Mannone sprawl out to push it away at the right post in the 21st minute.
Minnesota nearly cut into the lead just after the half-hour mark when a corner kick from the right found Ike Opara, who rose above the crowd only to head his effort inches wide of the left post in the 33rd minute.
Down 2-0 but not nearly out, the visitors collected themselves at halftime and responded just over a minute into the second half. Catching the Atlanta backline asleep, Minnesota right back Romain Métanire slotted a long ball down the flank for Kevin Molino whose centering pass picked out Robin Lod, allowing the Finnish striker to put home his first goal for the club with a deft volley to beat Brad Guzan at the left post in the 47th minute.
The strike woke up the hosts, and just a minute later, Julian Gressle’s effort from the right was turned away by another diving stop from Manonne. In the 56th minute, Gressle again broke free and centered for Josef Martinez, but the Venezuelan’s one-time effort was turned away thanks to a point-blank save from Mannone, before Boxall came through to clear the danger.
Staying hungry, Minnesota nearly nabbed the equalizer in the 69th minute. Against the run of play, Lod whipped in a low cross looking for Mason Toye, but it was turned straight into the path of Molino by Atlanta defender Florentin Pogba. The Trinidad & Tobago international alertly pounced, sending an effort at goal that forced a quick reaction stop out of Guzan.
Minnesota United received a greater path to an equalizer in the 74th minute. Having picked up a caution for dissent just three minutes earlier, Gonzalez Pirez was shown a second yellow card for an off the ball grab of Molino at midfield. The ejection gave Minnesota United a man advantage for the remainder of the game, and head coach Adrian Heath attempted to capitalize by immediately inserting 2019 U.S. Open Cup Golden Boot winner Darwin Quintero (six goals).
The man advantage helped Minnesota push forward and earn a number of corner kicks, but not much came until the first minute of second-half stoppage time when Opara chested down a ball at the top of the area and sent a one-time effort through traffic only to see Guzan dive to push the effort out for another corner kick.
Fully locked in, Minnesota saw their final chance go begging in the fourth minute of stoppage time. A cross from the left was headed down by Opara at the back post, only to see Boxall volley his close-range effort over the bar. Seconds later, referee Alan Chapman blew the final whistle to confirm Atlanta United FC as the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup champions.
Having collected MLS Cup in 2018 as well as the Campeones Cup just weeks ago, the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup represents the third piece of hardware in Atlanta United FC’s three-year history. The 10th MLS club to win U.S. Soccer’s National Championship, Atlanta United FC also earns the $300,000 prize awarded to competition’s winner and a berth in the next edition of the Concacaf Champions League.
- 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Match Report -
Match: Atlanta United FC (MLS) vs. Minnesota United FC (MLS)
Date: Aug. 27, 2019
Competition: 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup - Final
Venue: Mercedes-Benz Stadium; Atlanta, Ga.
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
ATL 2 0 2
MIN 0 1 1
ATL – Own Goal (Chase Gasper)
ATL – Gonzalo Martínez (Justin Meram)
MIN – Robin Lod (Kevin Molino)
1-Brad Guzan (capt.); 5-Leandro González Pirez, 12-Miles Robinson, 4-Florentin Pogba; 24-Gulian Gressel (18-Jeff Larentowicz, 85), 6-Darlington Nagbe, 11-Eric Remedi, 14-Justin Meram; 10-Gonzalo Martínez (2-Franco Escobar, 76), 8-Ezequiel Barco (16-Emerson Hyndman, 70), 7-Josef Martínez
Substitutes not used: 3-Michael Parkhurst, 29-Mohammed Adams, 15-Héctor Villalba, 25-Alec Kann
Head coach: Frank de Boer
MIN: 1-Vito Mannone; 19-Romain Métanire, 3-Ike Opara, 15-Michael Boxall, 77-Chase Gasper; 8-Jan Gregus, 6-Osvaldo Alonso (capt.) (25-Darwin Quintero, 75), 31-Hassani Dotson; 7-Kevin Molino (99-Abu Danladi, 85), 23-Mason Toye, 16-Robin Lod (13-Ethan Finlay, 70)
Substitutes not used: 33-Bobby Shuttleworth, 10-Miguel Ibarra, 12-Lawrence Olum, 14-Brent Kallman
Head coach: Adrian Heath
Stats Summary: ATL / MIN
Shots: 9 / 19
Shots on Goal: 6 / 4
Saves: 3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 6 / 9
Fouls: 9 / 15
Offside: 2 / 4
MIN – Hassani Dotson (caution) 29th minute
MIN – Osvaldo Alonso (caution) 44
ATL – Leandro González Pirez (caution) 71
ATL – Leandro González Pirez (caution) 74
ATL – Leandro González Pirez (sent off) 74
MIN – Chase Gasper (caution) 87
ATL – Franco Escobar (caution) 87
Referee: Allen Chapman (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Brian Poeschel (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Nick Uranga (USA)
4th Official: Ramy Touchan (USA)
5th Official: Brian Dunn (USA)