Loons top Columbus in penalty kicks; advance in Leagues Cup

90 minutes of regulation play and three goals a piece sent Minnesota United and Columbus Crew to a penalty shootout where the Loons were victorious, defeating the Crew 3(4)-3(3) and punching their ticket to the Round of 16. Goals from midfielders Bongokuhle Hlongwane and Hassani Dotson led the team to victory, alongside three crucial saves from Dayne St. Clair in the shootout.

6’: Columbus Crew had its first chance at goal early when former Loon Christian Ramirez ran onto a through ball between the Minnesota backline. Dayne St. Clair came out of goal to confront the attack, blocking Ramirez’s shot at net and diving onto the ball.

9’: Defender Sean Zawadzki, in an attempt to block a cross from Teemu Pukki into the box, conceded a penalty kick after a handball in the box. The play was reviewed by VAR and was eventually overturned.

17’: Following a quick transition in the defensive half, Teemu Pukki settled a long ball and played through to Bongokuhle Hlongwane. The South African converted his shot, chipping goalkeeper Evan Bush and scoring his fifth goal through three matches.

42’: Columbus equalized just before the half, taking advantage of a Minnesota giveaway. Cucho Hernandez passed to Malte Amundsen, launching his shot into the top corner of the net and past St. Clair.

51’: The Crew struck again for the go-ahead goal with quick combination passes at the top of the box. Hernandez centered a pass to Darlington Nagbe, laying off the ball with his back heel for Alexandru Matan to run onto. Matan took a long-range shot to put the Ohio side up 2-1.

54’: It wasn’t long before the Loons were on the board again; Hlongwane escaped pressure from the Crew, turning his body and redirecting a cross from Joseph Rosales to secure his second goal of the evening.

83’: Unmarked on the touchline, Yaw Yeboah sprinted towards goal, picking his pass to Christian Ramirez, who scored Columbus’ third goal, crashing the net at the back post and taking his shot off the volley.

90’: With time and space, Emanuel Reynoso dribbled into the Columbus box, playing across to Hassani Dotson, who fired a low driven ball at net, which was deflected off Malte Amundsen, to even the score in the waning minutes of the match.

After 90 minutes of regulation play, the teams went into a penalty shootout. MNUFC came out on top, defeating the Crew 3(4)-3(3), featuring three saves from Dayne St. Clair.
With the victory, Minnesota United advances to the Round of 16 and will host Deportivo Toluca F.C. at Allianz Field on Tuesday, August 8th at 7:30 p.m. CT.