Atlanta United 2, Minnesota United 1 | 2019 US Open Cup Final Recap
Another final at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, another trophy for Atlanta United.
Pity Martinez scored the eventual matchwinner in the 16th minute, six minutes after the hosts took the lead through an unusual own goal, and Atlanta captured their first-ever U.S. Open Cup championship with a 2-1 victory over Minnesota United in Tuesday night's final.
Despite a rare scoreless evening from forward Josef Martinez and the 74th-minute dismissal of Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, 10-man Atlanta held on to win their third piece of silverware inside a calendar year.
Robin Lod scored his first goal for the Loons since his arrival from Europe during the MLS Secondary Transfer Window, pulling Minnesota back within one some 65 seconds after the break.
The visitors had chances late, the best coming when Michael Boxall volleyed over the bar from close range following a corner kick in second-half stoppage time.
- 10' - ATL - Chase Gasper (OG) | WATCH
- 16' - ATL - Pity Martinez | WATCH
- 47' - MIN - Robin Lod | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Atlanta are now guaranteed a return to the Concacaf Champions League, a competition that complicated the beginning of manager Frank de Boer's tenure in replacing the outgoing Tata Martino. Clearly a more cohesive group over the last couple months than they were in the first portions of the season, they'll like their chances to make a bigger dent in that tournament next spring and take aim at becoming the first MLS squad to win it.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: While Pity Martinez has had his own growing pains in adjusting to his first club outside his native Argentina, he has scored some big goals since his arrival, including a derby winner against Orlando on May 12. His snap finish of Justin Meram's service will rival any of those to date.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Leando Gonzalez Pirez. LGP's dismissal on two bookable offenses within three minutes of each other was maddening for its foolishness, but also because of the level of his performance to that point. He made life very difficult on Minnesota throughout his 74-minute shift, and also pushed forward to contribute the cross that deflected off defender Chase Gasper for Atlanta's opener.